a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

AUSTR ALIA’S MOST GLOBAL REGIONAL CIT Y


FROM THE CHAIRS T

he year of 2020 demands both vision and action from those at the forefront of growing our economy, across private enterprise and all levels of government.

Business and industry leaders from a wide spectrum in tropical North Queensland have developed their vision - and are acting by joining forces in an unprecedented delegation seeking State commitment to enable that vision to become a reality. Our collective ask within this document for $1.2 billion in investment is built around connectivity across industries to leverage growth across the broader economy for long-term regional sustainability. We know the constraints and drivers for our region’s economy and the specific investments and policy changes that will allow us to unlock flourishing and diverse economic growth into the future. The Cairns TNQ Convoy to Capital Q brings a united front of the region’s three pre-eminent business organisations – Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce – at a critical juncture of both urgency and opportunity. The region has battled economic malaise dating back 12 years – and its biggest industry in tourism is now being battered by the dual effects of bushfire publicity worldwide and more recently the coronavirus crisis. With an economy heavily reliant on exports - headlined by the big two in tourism and agriculture - the tropical north is both at the doorstep of global opportunities and the mercy of the world’s vagaries. This complexity is highlighted by the huge growth in agricultural exports to the Asia Pacific from Australia and at the same time the devastating impacts on international tourism from both the bushfires and the latest super-bug in coronavirus. This complexity can be made simpler by a regionally holistic, well defined and executed plan: • A plan which delivers better health care and world leading research into tropical disease • A plan which ensures water security for both urban dwellers and the region’s innovative agricultural producers • A plan which maximises Defence investment based around Queensland’s only operational Navy base, HMAS Cairns • A plan which sees greater State investment to

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

urgently turn around declining market share in the burgeoning global tourism industry And a plan where the physical arteries - in the form of our roads - are much enhanced as vital links across each and every sector.

These plans, and more, come together in this visionary TNQ State Election Priorities document. The document features an intrinsically linked series of initiatives – water security is as vital to agriculture as it is to tourism, industry more broadly and our residents; roads are the primary connectors for freight, holiday makers and commuters in this remote part of the nation; improved health services benefit across the community, including the 30,000 tourists who stay here each night; our marine maintenance sector is an innovative hub which services the state’s only operational Navy base as well as a substantial reef tourism fleet, the fishing industry and commercial shipping lines; skills shortages are serious across almost every sector and from junior to highly-skilled roles. But this multi-layered vision can only become a reality if the Queensland Government of the day steps up with the $1.2 billion dollar investment sought, plus embraces the courageous policy reform outlined in the document. With the State Budget in April followed by an election in October, the time for action is now. Ultimately that action - or lack thereof - will be at the forefront of the minds of voters when they go to the ballot box on October 31 to elect their local representatives.

NICK TROMPF Executive Chairman Advance Cairns

WENDY MORRIS Chair Tourism Tropical North Queensland

NICK LOUKAS President Cairns Chamber of Commerce

P2


CONTENTS Briefing Papers Summary

4

Detailed Briefing Papers TNQ Representative Group

5

Agriculture

10

Arts, Culture and Sport

25

Defence and Marine

37

Education and Training

47

Energy

56

Health

62

Housing and Construction

70

Reef

80

Small to Medium Enterprise (SME)

87

Tourism and Aviation

96

Transport and Roads

107

Water Security

118

Advance Cairns Contacts

VANCE AIRNS

EGION ONE VOICE

NORTH QUEENSLAND

125

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

BRUCE HIGHWAY, CAIRNS SOUTHERN ACCESS CORRIDOR STAGE 4: KATE STREET TO AUMULLER STREET PHOTO CREDIT: TMR

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P3


STATE

ELECTION

PRIORITIES

FOR

TNQ

BRIEFING PAPERS SUMMARY INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS

RECOMMENDED POLICY REFORM

Cairns University Hospital Innovation Precinct

Cairns University Hospital

Cairns Ring Road

Destination Marketing

National Highway A1

Pacific Engagement Strategy

Dams and Water Security

Land Use and Agriculture

Cairns Marine Precinct

Cairns Aviation Route Development

$90 million (Stage 2) plus $60 million (80 new beds) $365 million

$21 million

$868 million

$25 million (Stage 2) plus $100 million (Stage 3)

Education and Research

$130 million plus $26 million recurrent

Funding of level 6 referral status services plus $10 million for business case

$10 million and/or establishment of a 2.5% tourism levy

Endorse Cairns as Queensland’s Regional Maintenance Centre for the RAN

Establishment of an Office of the Coordinator General in Cairns

$50 million recurrent

Strategic Energy Sector Framework $1.5 million

Gulf Savannah Way

Reef Regulations

Cairns Aviation Excellence Precinct

Business Growth Factors

$20 million

Increase payroll tax incentives in the regions and revisit BPP requirements for TNQ

Cairns Gallery Precinct

Dairy Industry Crisis Relief

Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct

Cairns Destination Sport

Crisis Accommodation Service Expansion

Skills and Training

$136 million

$39.8 million

$20 million to expand industry-led water quality initiatives

Establishment of an emergency crisis relief package

$1 million for a two stage scoping study

$40 million

$3 million

Establish an institution-based approach to year one of an apprenticeship

First Homeowners Grant

Increase first home owners grant from $15,000 to $20,000

Social Housing

Incentives for new and affordable construction projects

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P4


TNQ REPRESENTATIVE GROUP


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

TNQ Representative Group

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

TNQ Representative Group: Nick Trompf

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4.

Nick Trompf, Executive Chair Advance Cairns Nick Loukas, President Cairns Chamber of Commerce Wendy Morris, Chair Tourism Tropical North Queensland Henrietta Marrie AM, Associate Professor, Office of Indigenous Engagement, CQUniversity

Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

TNQ Representative Group Issues to discuss: • • • • • •

Cairns University Hospital Innovation Precinct Destination Marketing Cairns Ring Road Cairns Marine Precinct Dams and Water Security Education and Research

Attached are briefing papers on each issue. WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P6


TNQ

REPRESENTATIVE

GROUP

Delegate Bios

NICK TROMPF

EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN ADVANCE CAIRNS

Since moving from Victoria to Tropical North Queensland in 2001, Nick has played an active role as a senior business leader as well as in the wider community. Having joined Advance Cairns in 2018, after two years as CEO he accepted the role of Executive Chairman, a combined role of both Chief Executive and Chairman.. He previously served six years on the Advance Cairns Board (2009-2012 and 2013-2016). Prior to Advance Cairns he had a 34-year career in media, initially as a journalist and editor and then moving into commercial management. He was General Manager of Cairns’ oldest business, the Cairns Post Pty Ltd, for 11 years before promotion into more senior roles at News Corp Australia – ultimately heading all of its regional divisions from Hobart to Darwin (while still based in Cairns). Nick has been a passionate advocate for the region serving on a variety of voluntary boards including Advance Cairns (two terms), the Far North Queensland Amateur Turf Club, AFL Cairns, the Salvation Army Red Shield Business Appeal and Events Cairns. He and his family also run a stud beef cattle business on the Atherton Tablelands.

NICK LOUKAS

PRESIDENT CAIRNS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Nick Loukas is a local Pharmacist in Cairns and President of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce. He finished his schooling in Cairns and owned his first pharmacy at 22 years old in Mareeba. He then returned home to Cairns in 1995 where he owned a number of pharmacies in Cairns and Smithfield. He founded and developed the V Pharmacy and Alive Pharmacy Warehouse brands. At present, Nick is the Director and Brand Manager of Alive Pharmacy Warehouse Group with business interests in Cooktown, Cairns and Gladstone. In 2011, Nick was invited to work with JCU as Chair of the Pharmacy Advisory Committee and continues to hold this position. He also has a Bachelor of Business and studied at Harvard Business School. Nick is a fellow of the Australian College of Pharmacy Practice and Management and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a Director of the Tour of the Tropics bicycle race and a keen bike rider and triathlete. In November 2019 Nick became a director of North Queensland Primary Health Care (NQPHN). His passions are his family and growing businesses, the Cairns region and leadership.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P7


TNQ

REPRESENTATIVE

GROUP

Delegate Bios

WENDY MORRIS

CHAIR TOURISM TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND (TTNQ)

Wendy has been involved in the marketing and management of small and large tourism enterprises in North Queensland for 30 years. With a Bachelor in Marine Biology and Zoology from James Cook University, and business qualifications, she was a pioneer in the development of reef-based ecotourism operations and has previously held senior executive positions in tourism in FNQ, including a role as director of Tourism Queensland. As well, from 2008 - 2016 she has been intimately involved in the process of bringing the $360 million Mt Emerald Wind Farm to completion through family company Port Bajool Pty Ltd and partners RATCH Australia. She is currently Chair of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, and sits on the Partnership Management Committee for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

HENRIETTA MARRIE AM

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, OFFICE OF INDIGENOUS ENGAGEMENT, CQUNIVERSITY Henrietta Marrie is an Australian indigenous rights activist. She is an Aboriginal Australian from the Yidinji tribe, directly descended from Ye-i-nie, and an Aboriginal leader in the Cairns region. Henrietta is an advocate for the rights of her own Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji families, as well as for the cultural rights of indigenous peoples nationally and internationally. Henrietta is currently working as an Associate Professor at the Central Queensland University’s Cairns campus. She heads a Cultural Think Tank which influences policies affecting Indigenous Australians.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P8


THE KURANDA RANGE ROAD REQUIRES SIGNIFICANT UPGRADES TO ACCOMMODATE BOTH POPULATION GROWTH AND INCREASED FOOD EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH CAIRNS AIRPORT

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P9


AGRICULTURE


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Agriculture

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Agriculture: Jeffrey Schrale

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4.

Jeffrey Schrale, Regional Manager Far North Queensland ANZ Mike Barry, CEO MSF Sugar Cameron Mackay, CEO Mackay Estates Dr Allan Dale, Professor of Tropical Regional Development James Cook University 5. Stewart Christie, CEO Terrain NRM Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

Agriculture issues to discuss: • • • •

Land Use and Agriculture Reef Regulations Dams and Water Security Dairy Industry Crisis Relief

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 11


AGRICULTURE Delegate Bios

JEFFREY SCHRALE

REGIONAL MANAGER FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND ANZ Jeff grew up in Coffs Harbour on a 250 cow dairy farm and then did his degree and post graduate diploma in education at the University of QLD. Following university Jeff worked as a school teacher based in Hughenden, followed by a return to manage and ultimately lease the family dairy farm. He then spent almost 10 years working for firms consulting to family farms before entering the Banking Industry as an Agribusiness/Commercial Manager with CBA in Muswellbrook. He has now spent 8 years working for ANZ and has progressed from the role of a Relationship manager through to State Agribusiness manager and more recently Regional Executive for Far North Queensland. Jeff is a father of 4 girls and lives on the Atherton Tablelands where he has a small hobby farm near Malanda.

MIKE BARRY CEO MSF SUGAR

Mike was appointed to the position of CEO in February 2008. Before he joined MSF Sugar, Mike was previously managing director of the private equity-owned Hudson Building Supplies, one of Australia’s largest building supply companies. For the ten years prior to holding that position, Mr Barry held a number of senior management roles within Boral Limited, the most recent being Regional General Manager for Boral’s Construction Materials business in Western Australia and South Australia, where he had responsibility for the company’s concrete, quarries, transport, pre-cast concrete, asphalt and mining activities in those regions.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 12


AGRICULTURE Delegate Bios

CAMERON MACKAY CEO MACKAY ESTATES

Cameron is a third generation farmer from Tully, North Queensland and together with his two brothers and two cousins, operate Banana farms throughout Queensland. The Mackays brand has been growing Bananas for 73 years in Queensland. In the past 20 years the business has moved into marketing Bananas and currently sells one third of Australia’s Bananas. Cameron has worked in the Banana business for 23 years and had involvement in all aspects of operations. During this time he also served on the board of Australia Banana Growers Council for 12 years and was Chairman for 2 ½ of those years. He has also maintained a strong interest in Research and Development in the Banana industry over the course of his career.

DR ALLAN DALE

PROFESSOR OF TROPICAL REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY Allan is a Professor of Tropical Regional Development at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University. He has a strong interest in integrated governance, with a particular focus across the tropical world, northern Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. He has both extensive research and policy expertise in building strong governance systems, but particularly in regional, rural and social development and natural resource management. Allan was previously the Chair of RDA FNQ&TS, CEO of Terrain NRM and before that was responsible for natural resource policy in Queensland. He is also now the Chief Scientist for the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia. Allan has a long research background in analysing complex and multi-level governance system and is an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow with Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 13


AGRICULTURE Delegate Bios

STEWART CHRISTIE CEO TERRAIN NRM

Stewart is the CEO of Terrain NRM, an independent, not-for-profit community-based environmental management organisation that has been operating throughout Tropical North Queensland since 2003. Terrain NRM has 40 staff and initiates collaborative, innovative and forward-looking solutions to the important natural resource management and economic challenges facing our region. Stewart has extensive experience in economic development, the planning and delivery of large infrastructure projects and leading for-profit and not for profit organisations that create a positive triple bottom-line impact for our region.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 14


RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS COMPLEMENT THE MORE TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURE SECTOR ON THE ATHERTON TABLELAND PHOTO CREDIT: SUE WELLWOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 15


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

LAND USE AND AGRICULTURE BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • To reduce the uncertainty facing investors in agricultural development, improved strategic land use planning and mechanisms for tenure resolution are required. To facilitate this process, it is proposed that Strategic Agricultural Development Areas be prioritised and established. • This approach would be complimented by the creation of an Office of the Coordinator General in far northern Queensland. The Office is required to coordinate more effective strategic regional land use planning and major development approvals, supported by increased State investment to process subsidiary tenure resolution efforts.

THE ISSUE A CSIRO and James Cook University (JCU) report into land tenure issues in northern Australia identified key actions required to ensure land tenure arrangements facilitate rather than hinder investment in the region. The report identified that the majority of land in northern Australia is crown-owned (75.4%), two-thirds of which is pastoral leasehold. Another 18.5% is Indigenous land and privatelyowned land accounts for 6.1%. However, Indigenous land interests cover an estimated 94% of northern Australia and there are limited arrangements to support Traditional Owners in leading development opportunities within these various tenures. In the State of Queensland, an estimated 65% of land is leasehold, with term leases for grazing and agriculture the principal arrangement. High value agriculture is permitted by the Native Title Act (1993) on term leases subject to notices, which does not require an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) or consent. In 1996 the Native Title Act confirmed existing freehold and perpetual leases extinguished native title, however it is the State’s view this can only be achieved if native title is

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

extinguished either by agreement (ILUA) or order of the Court. Many pastoral tenures therefore have quite restrictive requirements that need careful negotiation for development. Native title issues in particular are sensitive as the land holder cannot achieve more secure tenure unless native title is surrendered or extinguished. Many others are impacted by the Queensland Vegetation Management Act (1999), which was amended in 2018 to ban broad-scale clearing of remnant vegetation for agriculture. The reduced certainty regarding land use is impacting both agricultural and environmental management investment as many leaseholder and financial institutions require a more secure form of tenure to underpin the huge capital investment required for high value agriculture. Combined with land tenure uncertainty, to improve agricultural investment in Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) an opportunity exists to streamline development approvals.

BACKGROUND Productive agricultural land is an irreplaceable asset for current and future generations and must be effectively identified, managed and preserved through improved land use planning P 16


and project assessment frameworks. While land ownership in Australia is governed by common and statutory laws, in the context of northern Queensland a lack of strategic planning and land tenure complexities have frustrated new investment. In Tropical North Queensland, efforts to reduce barriers to agricultural investment could be pursued in four distinct ways: 1.

2.

3.

4.

T he prioritisation of areas where the State would strongly support agricultural development; treamlining development approvals and S regulations at the Federal, State and local level through a single point-of-contact permanently based in the region; aking administrative and legislative M improvements to land tenure legislation to reduce barriers to investment, taking into consideration the requirements of the Queensland Vegetation Management Act (1999); and T aking action to improve the effectiveness of land and resource planning to reduce conflict between potential investors and land holders.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

NEXT STEPS

OUR RECOMMENDATION

Just as there are State Development Area’s (SDA’s) to promote economic development in Queensland, to reduce the uncertainty facing investors in agricultural development, it is proposed that a framework for prioritised Strategic Agricultural Development Areas be developed across TNQ. Similar in nature to a State Development Area, this would mean that in areas suitable for agricultural production, a single authority would coordinate decisions regarding

That the State Government reduce uncertainty regarding land use and land tenure issues by establishing a framework for Strategic Agricultural Development Areas in Queensland.

• •

That the State Government establish an Office of the Coordinator General in far northern Queensland based in Cairns to effectively coordinate strategic regional land use planning and major development approvals, supported by associated tenure resolution efforts.

• • • •

Land use planning and approvals; Vegetation management planning and approvals; Native title negotiations; Environmental impact studies and approvals; Water allocations; and Trunk infrastructure requirements.

The process would be managed through the creation of an Office of the Coordinator General in far northern Queensland, which would be tasked with coordinating strategic regional land use plans and major development approvals, supported by associated tenure resolution efforts.

P 17


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

REEF REGULATIONS BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Polluted water is one of the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef. There has been significant investment by State and Federal governments since 2008 to reduce this threat.

Progress is being made towards water quality improvement targets however modelling concludes that these approaches will be insufficient to meet the targets.

The next wave of innovative solutions that addresses these challenges is needed. New approaches are being trialled in the Tully, Johnstone, Russell/Mulgrave and the Bowen, Broken and Bogie (BBB) River (Burdekin region) catchments.

To maintain this momentum, capitalise on current interest and further expand the rollout of promising practices, further support and investment is required.

THE ISSUE Since 2008, targeted investment by the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments in various programs has reduced the nitrogen, sediment and pesticides entering waterways that flow into the Great Barrier Reef. This investment has been focussed on providing support to individual landholders, considering each farm separately, and establishing water quality monitoring at the end of catchments. The Queensland Government Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was recently introduced to set a minimum standard to reduce the amount of nutrients, pesticides and sediment entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. The Act was implemented to regulate a minimum industry standard and encourage landholders that have not yet adopted Best Management Practices (BMP) to move toward BMP standards. Many commercial growers have already adopted industry BMP and believe that they are doing everything they can to improve water quality without impacting the financial viability of their businesses. However, while many landholders have adopted the straightforward practice changes that have a clear business and water quality improvement benefit, the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

found that even if 100% of farmers adopted currently accepted best management practices, it would be unlikely that water quality targets would be met. Trialling new approaches to complement best management practices is recommended by the taskforce. Recently, many sugarcane and banana growers have questionned the science that underpins the legislation, particularly the end-of-catchment water quality modelling that attributes pollution loads to individual catchments and the agricultural sector.

BACKGROUND To continue to improve water quality and simultaneously support landholder’s increased profitability, innovative approaches are needed. Key organisations in the region are working on new ways of increasing the uptake of voluntary adoption of best management practices. The focus is on working collaboratively with farmers to fully understand the local water quality issues, and in partnership with scientists and technicians, support farmers themselves to be the drivers of innovative, transformative solutions. With this new approach, trust and confidence is being built between landholders, community and scientists to collaboratively address the more complex and integrated challenges. P 18


OUR RECOMMENDATION The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) has developed a project with leading commercial farmers that will result in assurances that water quality measurements are accurate and targeted. The project has now developed beyond its original intention into a grower-driven, strategically-placed, real-time monitoring system which, most importantly, has the input from the landholder as well as the scientific skill and mentoring of the researchers. Growers within the project have been analysing the results for several years and identifying water quality hotspots within their sub-catchment. Results have identified areas where farmers need to do more to manage and improve water quality leaving their farms. Results have also identified local water quality issues previously attributed to canefarmers that appear more related to other land uses and their impacts on local water quality. Properly attributing water quality issues to the correct cause with local, evidence-based research, provides growers with the information needed to address the correct challenges. Another example of innovation is the Terrain NRM Major Integrated Project (MIP), supported by $15 million of funding through the Office of the Great Barrier Reef, which involves 215 farmers in the Tully and Johnstone River catchments. The focus and benefits of the project are: •

trialling new cost-effective water treatment and catchment repair systems such as bioreactors, wetlands and high-efficiency sediment basins that are removing high amounts of nitrogen and sedminent;

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

roviding water quality monitoring and p data at farms rather than at the end of catchment, which is reducing costs, improving profitability and water quality and re-building confidence in science;

s upporting uptake of promising new farm practices and creating peer-to-peer and cross-industry learning/support; and

eveloping an innovative, market-based d solution (Reef Credits) that de-risks and provides an income stream for landholders to make and sustain changes that improve water quality and is being proven through 21 pilot projects.

NEXT STEPS There are hundreds of kilometres of drains throughout the agricultural areas of the Wet Tropics that have the potential to be cost effectively repurposed to remove nutrients. Targeted real-time monitoring and the adoption of new technologies has highlighted points of potential intervention in the pollution cycle. The NESP project learnings need increased resourcing to encourage wider adoption of changed farming practices while the MIP should be further expanded. In addition, the program should include analysis of flood plume characteristics of individual catchments, which may eventually lead to catchment based onground practices.

To enable the Queensland Government, landholders and communities to be able to demonstrate and fully realise the impact of current investments for existing and other catchments, it is recommended that: •

$5 million be allocated towards expanding the NESP program and extension resources to encourage onfarm adoption of key learnings;

$15 million be allocated to extend the Wet Tropics MIP to June 2025; and

in collaboration with the Office of the Great Barrier Reef, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Terrain NRM and NESP researchers, a pilot program be developed to trial the re-purposing of sections of the drainage network in the Wet Tropics.

Supporting these approaches deployed on the ground will accelerate the rate of water quality improvement, and support improved productivity and profitability of landholders will increase.

P 19


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS, MAREEBA, ETHERIDGE, COOK, TABLELANDS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS, BARRON RIVER, HILL, TRAEGER FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

DAMS AND WATER SECURITY BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The ability to supply

increased demand for fresh Australian food from North Queensland is at risk due to a lack of long term water implementation strategy

• To cater for growing demand fresh foods, five significant water supply and infrastructure projects are considered essential enablers for the region: Nullinga Dam, North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme, Lakeland Irrigation Area Project, Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme and Tablelands Irrigation Project. • All five projects require bilateral commitment and shared investment (split 50:50) to facilitate environmental approvals and progress to construction stage. • In 2020-2021, a $7 million investment is required to progress the North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme business case. • Nullinga Dam is the most advanced project and requires bilateral investment of $854 million to unlock additional agricultural production worth more than $200 million per annum while supporting the growing urban water needs of the region.

THE ISSUE Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has seen sustained population growth during the past 30 years underpinned by expansion of industries including agriculture, tourism, fisheries, education, health and retail. At the forefront of agricultural growth has been the Atherton Tablelands, driven by the Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme (MDWSS) with rapid expansion in high value crops such as avocados, bananas, berries and sugarcane. Water is now 100% allocated and 80% used, with purchase prices rising more than threefold since 2011, peaking at $4000ML. To address high prices and supply issues on the Tablelands, a short term and long term implement strategy needs to be agreed and acted upon. The short term strategy requires efficiency improvement in the current MDWSS and the construction of the North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme. These projects need to be fast-tracked to construction. During 2019 the proposed long –term solution for the region, Nullinga Dam was shelved as not meeting the current economic criteria. We believed that the detailed business case did not include all the relevant information. This needs to be re-assessed as it is the only long term solution for the region to meet the projected long term growth for water in the region. In addition, agriculture in areas such as the District of Lakeland and Etheridge Shire have potential to expand rapidly with high value crops such as bananas, grains, cotton and watermelons proving feasible. Water security has been a concern for a number of years and is now limiting supply in both regions.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Agricultural exports are vital to Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) with the industry sector output currently valued at $2.8 billion, constrained mainly by factors such as irrigation and access to market. Recent trade deals secured with China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia present new market access opportunities, with Cairns International Airport providing direct air access to these markets from northern Australia where agricultural exports underpin sustainable tourism flights. Urban demand also continues to increase with Cairns’ population growth averaging 1.4% per annum. Combined with an estimated three million tourists visiting TNQ annually, to ensure the growing needs of the region can be met an effective and multi-faceted water supply strategy is required. Five significant water supply and infrastructure projects are considered essential enablers for the region: •

Nullinga Dam

North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme

Lakeland Irrigation Area Project

Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme

Tablelands Irrigation Project

BACKGROUND On the back of record drought periods in Australia, water security and food security have become priority national policy issues, leading to controversial decisions around water allocations and infrastructure. In recognition of this, in 2019 the Federal Government expanded the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund by $500 million to more than $1 billion, adding to the existing $2 billion for the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility program. P 20


GILBERT RIVER IRRIGATION SCHEME: Etheridge Shire Council proposes to manage water from the Gilbert Catchment general reserve and facilitate construction of an irrigation scheme along the Gilbert River, distributing water to an estimated 30,000ha of irrigable land.

In strengthening the role of northern Australia as a food bowl, substantial feasibility work has progressed in the past three years to explore new agricultural development opportunities. With many of these studies now coming to a close, there are clear priorities for progressing environmental impact and construction activities and a coordinated approach to development is required.

A detailed business case funded by the State Government’s Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program is currently under way and due for completion in March 2020. Preliminary modelling suggests the scheme is economically feasible, and that the area is suited to a range of irrigated crops including grains, pulses and cotton.

NULLINGA DAM AND NORTH JOHNSTONE RIVER DIVERSION SCHEME: The Queensland Government, through Building Queensland, has released a detailed business case showing costs for a 74,000ML stand-alone dam at $1.068 billion. The project will require shared State and Federal investment of $854 million on top of industry contributions of $213 million (based on $2900ML price). A Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries study showed agricultural output on the Tablelands grew 30% in four years to $552 million. Nullinga Dam would unlock additional agricultural production worth around $200 million per annum. The Queensland ALP Government has announced it would ‘protect’ the proposed dam site but would investigate alternative water supply solutions such as the North Johnstone River diversion scheme in preference to Nullinga Dam. The diversion scheme is considered a viable short-term option to stimulate the economy, delivering up to 50,000 ML with a lower capital cost, and a $7 million investment for a full business case is sought to progress this project. However, longer-term Nullinga Dam will also be required to service the growing agricultural and urban water supply needs of the region.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

TABLELANDS IRRIGATION PROJECT: The prefeasibility of the Southern Atherton Tablelands Irrigation Project has been completed and indicates a detailed business case would cost $2.2 million, with an additional $5 million required for an environmental impact study.

That in 2019-2020 the Queensland Government invest $7 million through SunWater to progress the full business case for the North Johnstone River diversion scheme.

The Tableland Regional Council is seeking an investment of $7.2 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to progress this project. The proposed Woodleigh Dam includes a 35,000ML capacity and 98.5% water reliability, and the project would facilitate a land use transition from predominantly beef cattle to higher value crops. The dam will also provide hydro power benefits, irrigating 4,200 hectares.

That the State and Federal Governments commit to invest $854 million as a 50:50 contribution to the construction of Nullinga Dam with $10 million of Federal funds going towards an environmental impact statement in 20192020.

That, subject to completion of the business cases, the Queensland Government works with the Federal Government to facilitate and coordinate the development approval processes for the Lakeland Irrigation Area Project and the Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme.

That in 2021-2022 the Federal Government invest $7.2 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to progress the Tablelands Irrigation Project.

NEXT STEPS Development of the five proposed water infrastructure projects would meet a range of State and National Policy objectives: • Expand northern Australia’s agricultural productive capacity – this is nationally significant given the impact of drought on food and water security in southern Australia; • Increase northern Australia’s contribution to GDP through an increase in agricultural production; • Diversify northern Australia’s economic capabilities to facilitate investment and reduce reliance on tourism; and • Strengthen Australia’s international competitiveness through proximity to Asia.

LAKELAND IRRIGATION AREA PROJECT: Regional Development Australia FNQ&TS, through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF), funded a strategic business case that investigates new water storage options to expand the Lakeland irrigation area. When constructed, the proposed dam will store 200,000ML and irrigate 8,000ha of arable land. The Federal Government has committed an additional $10 million to further develop the business case. The project will require bilateral Government support to facilitate and coordinate the development approval processes for the dam.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $868.2m

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2021-2022

2027-2031

Business Case (North Johnstone)

Environmental Approvals (Nullinga)

Planning and Design (Nullinga)*

Business Case (Tablelands)

Procurement and Construction (Nullinga)*

$7m

-

$50m

-

$377m*

-

$10m

$50m

$7.2m

$367m*

State Investment Federal Investment *staged funds to flow for Nullinga Dam from 2020-2031

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 21


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

DAIRY INDUSTRY CRISIS RELIEF BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

In 2000, industry deregulation changed the playing field of the dairy industry to the detriment of regional dairy farmers.

Deregulation sparked an exodus of farmers on the Atherton Tablelands and while the industry stabilised briefly its decline accelerated from 2011 with the introduction of $1 per litre milk by Coles and Woolworths.

With just 53 dairy farmers remaining, the TNQ dairy industry is unlikely to survive without urgent intervention.

An industry crisis meeting is needed with Federal and State Ministers and representatives, local government, industry representatives and dairy farmers to formalise a rescue package and plan.

THE ISSUE The Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) dairy industry started in the early 1900s. In the 1970s and 1980s rationalisation of smaller factories brought about the creation of the Atherton Tableland Co-operative Dairy Association, known as Malanda Milk and Millaa Millaa Cheese. With a central factory in Malanda the industry grew in volume and was vibrant and progressive. The Victorian Government-led deregulation in 2000 changed the playing field to the detriment of farmers. The 2011 introduction of $1 per litre milk by major retailers dragged the price of milk paid to farmers down to unsustainable levels, with dairy farmers in Queensland receiving less than the cost of production. The issue is particularly acute in TNQ as there is one dominant processor (Lion Dairy and Drinks), which means dairy farmers are ‘price takers’ as there is just one alternative processor, which is biodynamic only. Further uncertainty hangs over the industry with the Lion factory subject to a potential takeover by Chinese giant Mengniu (subject to

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

regulatory approval). The imminent collapse of the $30m industry would see fresh milk consumed in northern Queensland being trucked from the sole remaining dairy producing area in southern Queensland.

BACKGROUND TNQ dairy farmers are currently operating with significant overdrafts and many are running at a loss, and facing the prospect of closing their doors within 6-12 months. Immediate action needs to be taken to address this crisis as a collapse of the dairy industry will have a devastating impact on many of the small towns and communities in the TNQ region. Today there are 43 farms supplying the Malanda Lion Dairy and Drinks factory, nine supplying Mungalli Creek Dairy (biodynamic and jersey milk) and one farm milking buffalo. In 2018-2019, 48 million litres of milk were produced servicing 600,000 consumers ($30 million farm gate, $60 million wholesale, and $80 million retail) - this figure is down from 53 million litres in 2017-2018.

P 22


OUR RECOMMENDATION The reduced production was due to weather conditions and significant increases in input costs such as labour, electricity, freight, grains, hay, protein meals and supplementary feeds. For example:

Tablelands Regional Council area - its closure would equate to direct losses of approximately 100 local jobs with additional indirect impacts on the 43 dairy farms who also employ a substantial number of people.

In 2019 whole cottonseed feed rose from $300-$350 per tonne to $700 per tonne. Opening prices for 2020 were $650 per tonne and this is expected to rise.

Freight from the gin at Emerald to the Atherton Tablelands costs around $120 per tonne, and grain mixes freight to farm leapt to $200 per tonne late 2018 and early 2019.

The flow-on impacts from the demise of the dairy industry would have significant consequences for a number of regional towns and communities and many local businesses, which in turn would result in lower land valuations. The loss of one of the region’s largest employers would affect regional GDP, result in job losses, render the factory asset largely worthless, and add further pressure to socio-economic challenges within a region that already has 67% of its resident population in the lowest two SEIFA index quintiles.

The drought across much of Australia is affecting TNQ producers due to increased cost of inputs and transportation. There is currently an undersupply of milk in Queensland, with distributors importing milk to cater for demand. Queensland is currently producing about 200 million litres less than consumption and this gap is getting larger each year. New South Wales is in deficit as well and the closest pool of surplus milk is in south eastern Victoria.

The social and economic impact of the collapse of the local dairy industry cannot be under-estimated. To survive the industry needs: •

a fair price for milk from farm gate to cover actual production costs;

a crisis meeting with Federal and State Ministers and representatives, local government, industry representatives and dairy farmers to formalise a rescue package and plan; and

State and Federal Government intervention with a crisis relief package.

Queensland production is down 14% year to date (2019-2020), by far the highest in the nation. Queensland makes up 4.1% of total milk production across Australia. The Atherton Tableland industry supplies milk south to Mackay, sometimes Rockhampton, west to the Northern Territory border and north to the tip of Cape York.

That the State and Federal Governments host urgent high-level, face-to-face talks with industry leaders and other stakeholders to formalise a plan for a sustainable dairy industry in far north Queensland.

That the Queensland Government introduce an emergency crisis relief package to support dairy farmers to remain viable in the short-term.

NEXT STEPS The North Queensland dairy industry is unlikely to survive without urgent intervention and assistance. The value of milk paid to Atherton Tableland farmers is currently around $30 million per annum and the Malanda Milk factory (owned by Lion Dairy and Drinks) is a large employer in the

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 23


POPULATION GROWTH IS EXPECTED TO PUT PRESSURE ON CAIRNS’ URBAN WATER SUPPLY PHOTO CREDIT: CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 24


ARTS, CULTURE AND SPORT


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Arts, Culture and Sport

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Arts, Culture and Sport: Doug McKinstry

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Doug McKinstry, Chairman Cairns Art Gallery Board of Directors & Partner/Director WGC Lawyers Jodie Duignan-George, Associate Vice-Chancellor Cairns & Far North Region for CQUniversity & Director Advance Cairns Gary Young, President & Managing Director AFL Cairns Bevan Clayton, Vice President Cairns Show Association Suellen Maunder, Artistic Director/CEO JUTE Theatre Company Nick Masasso, Executive Project Officer Cairns Regional Council

Attached are bios on each delegate. DELEGATE ISSUES

Arts, Culture and Sport issues to discuss: • • •

Cairns Gallery Precinct Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct Cairns Destination Sport

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 26


ARTS,

CULTURE

AND

SPORT

Delegate Bios

DOUG MCKINSTRY

CHAIRMAN CAIRNS ART GALLERY BOARD OF DIRECTORS & PARTNER/DIRECTOR WGC LAWYERS A Partner/Director of WGC Lawyers since 1993, Doug leads the dispute resolution and litigation teams and is one of the most experienced commercial and civil litigators in North Queensland. Doug has a long and distinguished association with the Cairns Art Gallery. He is the current Chairman of the Cairns Art Gallery Board of Directors, bringing legal and business expertise to the Board. Doug is committed to extending the reach, impact, excellence and viability of the Gallery for future generations by bringing great art and artists to the region to inspire audiences, encourage critical dialogues, and develop talent and ideas leadership. Doug is a Life Member of the Cairns Surf Life Saving Club where he has been a patrol captain for over 20 years. As Club President Doug was instrumental in developing a $6 million clubhouse on the Club’s freehold land at Palm Cove, enabling the Club to develop sustainable income streams to purchase equipment and provide training facilities for the Club’s volunteers. Doug has also served as president of the Far North Queensland Law Association and Barron Trinity Rugby Union Club and he is also a vocal ambassador for the Tobruk Memorial Swimming Pool of which he is a Gold Shield (Life) member.

JODIE DUIGNAN-GEORGE

ASSOCIATE VICE-CHANCELLOR CAIRNS & FAR NORTH REGION CQUNIVERSITY & DIRECTOR ADVANCE CAIRNS Jodie Duignan-George is the foundation Associate Vice-Chancellor for the Cairns and Far North Region of CQUniversity. With a 20+ year career in higher education, Jodie has a strong understanding of the issues facing the sector, particularly from a regional university perspective. Her interests, however, extend beyond higher education to include regional development more broadly. She is an engagement specialist and a strategic thinker who collaborates across boundaries to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for stakeholders. Jodie is an active member of her community, serving on the Management Committees of Study Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce (as Vice President). Jodie is also a Director on the Board of Advance Cairns (locally) and the Company Secretary of Engagement Australia (nationally). She also serves on local and state government committees and is a member of the board of RDA FNQ&TS.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 27


ARTS,

CULTURE

AND

SPORT

Delegate Bios

GARY YOUNG

PRESIDENT & MANAGING DIRECTOR AFL CAIRNS

Gary is originally from Melbourne but has lived in Cairns for over thirty years. While his background is in teaching, he moved into the tourism industry when he relocated from Victoria to Far North Queensland in 1988. Gary’s industry history includes owning a backpacker hostel, taking on roles in Sales and Marketing with RnR Rafting and the Cairns Colonial Club Resort, as well as embracing the role of Regional Manager for QR Traveltrain for ten years. This has provided him with a wide range of experiences and knowledge of the tourism industry. He has also judged and/or chaired the TTNQ, Queensland and Australian Tourism Awards. The variety of these involvements led to his induction as a Life Member of Tourism Tropical North Queensland in 2018. In his current role as President and Managing Director of AFL Cairns, he not only pursues “on and off field” opportunities for AFL but those of the city and region. Gary is also a Board member of Cairns Netball Association. Gary strongly believes that sports tourism and sports science are significant opportunities that Far North Queensland must embrace to add further resilience and sustainability to our regional economy.

BEVAN CLAYTON

VICE PRESIDENT CAIRNS SHOW ASSOCIATION Bevan is a long term resident of Cairns having “migrated” from Victoria in 1971. He has had a long career in Civil Engineering in the Cairns and surrounding areas including being a partner in the successful firm of Colefax Clayton Smith from 1980 to 2001 after which it merged with the International firm of Cardno. Bevan joined the committee of the Cairns Show Association in 2006 and in 2010 was elected to the Management Committee. In 2016 Bevan was elected to the position of Vice President of the Cairns Show Association. Since joining the committee, Bevan has played an active role in pursuing the interests of the Cairns Agricultural, Pastoral and Mining Association. He has been the Chief Steward in the Fred Moule Exhibition Centre for several years and recently has also been on the Advisory Committee for the new Masterplan for the Cairns Showgrounds. Bevan is also actively involved in obtaining a new long term lease from the Cairns Regional Council for the Cairns Show Association.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 28


ARTS,

CULTURE

AND

SPORT

Delegate Bios

SUELLEN MAUNDER

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CEO JUTE THEATRE COMPANY Founding Member and Artistic Director/CEO of JUTE Theatre Company, a multi-award winning regional company based in Cairns, Suellen is an actor and director and has extensive experience in the development and direction of new Australian plays. Suellen was a key player in gaining $2.7 million in capital works funding from State Government in 2001, was integrally involved in the design and development of the Centre of Contemporary Arts in Cairns, and consulted on the $2 million rehearsal studio development at the Centre. Suellen is a member of the Queensland Chamber of Arts and Culture. Most recently she served on the board of Diversity Arts Australia; the Theatre Board of the Australia Council for the Arts 2009-2012 and was a Trustee of the Board of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust 2001-2007. Suellen has served on numerous funding assessment panels and was an Adjunct Lecturer at JCU, Cairns Campus 2008 - 2012. Suellen is committed to the growth of high quality professional theatre practice in the regions.

NICK MASASSO

EXECUTIVE PROJECT OFFICER CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL Nick is Cairns Regional Council’s Executive Project Officer and a member of Council’s Executive Management Team. Nick oversees Council’s Economic Development Department and inbound (from State and Federal Governments) grant funding streams. He also works directly with the Mayor’s and CEO’s office on advocacy initiatives relevant to Council’s operations. He has previously held senior management positions with KPMG, Grant Thornton, First Great Western Trains (UK) and GE Capital. Nick has broad finance, management and economic development experience across a range of industry sectors in Australia and the UK. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Nick also holds an Associate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. Nick is a past Treasurer of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and a casual lecturer with James Cook University. He is a third generation North Queenslander having grown up on a family farm located on the Atherton Tablelands.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 29


DESTINATION

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

CAIRNS GALLERY PRECINCT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • With Cairns positioning

itself to be the Arts and Cultural Capital of northern Australia, to cater for its multicultural community, welcome new migrants and encourage social cohesion, further investment in infrastructure is required.

• To strengthen arts and culture, the Cairns Gallery Precinct will showcase domestic and international touring exhibitions as well as contemporary local and indigenous art. The project requires tri-partite investment of $39.8 million.

THE ISSUE The Cairns Gallery Precinct is a project that supports and complements recent regional investment in arts and cultural facilities, events and programs. These include the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC), Munro Martin Parklands (MMP) and the Bulmba-ja Arts Centre (formerly Centre of Contemporary Arts). The project will transform and connect three heritage listed buildings in the Cairns City Centre (the Cairns Art Gallery, ‘Old’ Court House and former Mulgrave Shire Council offices) and establish a new world class gallery building to create a dynamic and unique gallery precinct with benefits for both the local community and domestic and international visitors. The project would also broaden the region’s tourism offer and enhance liveability within our community. A significant proportion of Cairns’ population identify as First Nations peoples. Cairns is also the principal connection point for the exchange and celebration of Indigenous art and culture from communities throughout Cape York and the Torres Strait. The Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region is home to Australia’s highest proportion of Indigenous Australians and its greatest diversity of Indigenous cultures. Community demand for the arts, the burgeoning local creative sector,

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

the opportunity to showcase more Indigenous arts, and the need to diversify our tourism offering all contribute to the need for increased scale and diversity of Cairns’ visual arts infrastructure. The recent announcement by the Premier of Queensland that 2020 will be ‘the Year of Indigenous Tourism’ sends a clear strategic signal of the importance of cultural tourism projects such as the Cairns Gallery Precinct. Investment in the project would demonstrate the Queensland Government’s commitment to this strategic imperative.

BACKGROUND Establishment of the precinct will have significant positive impacts on jobs and economic growth. In addition to the significant economic impact and employment created during construction, once operational, the project will add $20.7 million per annum to the regional economy (Gross Regional Product) and support 177 ongoing full time jobs through its direct operation and induced tourism expenditure. An independent and comprehensive business case for the project has been completed utilising funding provided by the Queensland Government. The business case supports the case for project investment with the preferred project option having a Benefits to Cost Ratio (BCR) of 1.19 and a Net Present Value (NPV) of

P 30


OUR RECOMMENDATION $13.3 million.

State Infrastructure Plan 2016

NEXT STEPS

Advancing Tourism 2016-20 • Queensland Tourism and Transport Strategy 2018

Tourism and Events Queensland Strategic Plan 2018-2022

Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031

Advancing North Queensland – Investing in the Future of the North (2016) plan

Advancing Tourism in North Queensland 2016-20

This proposal calls for a tripartite funding arrangement to construct and establish the precinct with Federal, State and Local (Council) Governments each contributing one third of the project’s total capital cost of $39.8 million. The project aligns with and supports the implementation of the following Queensland Government strategies and initiatives: •

The Queensland Plan: Queenslanders’ 30-year vision 2014

That under a tri-partite funding arrangement, the Queensland and Federal Government’s each commit$13.3 million in the 2020-2021 budget to invest in the Cairns Gallery Precinct.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $39.8m

2020-2021

Local Council Investment (already confirmed)

$13.3m

State Investment

$13.3m

Federal Investment

$13.3m

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 31


DESTINATION

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

CAIRNS SHOWGROUND, SPORTING AND COMMUNITY PRECINCT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Cairns is home to the largest regional show in Australia.

To date, the Cairns Showground facilities have been fully funded by the Cairns Show Society, which includes the building and maintenance of infrastructure.

The facilities are becoming dilapidated and the showgrounds are significantly underutilised.

A Master Plan commissioned by the State Government and released in 2019 highlighted the need for considerable investment to repair and upgrade facilities.

Master planning indicates a $40 million investment is required to upgrade this vital community asset.

THE ISSUE The Cairns Show attracts more than 73,000 people annually, making it the biggest regional show in Australia and the largest event of any kind in Cairns. More than just an agricultural show, the three-day event showcases a wide range of the region’s industries, cultures and society, bringing together families, farmers and small and large enterprise. The show is steeped in history dating back to 1891 and since inception, has been led by the not-for-profit Cairns Agricultural, Pastoral and Mining Association. Volunteers are the backbone of the annual Cairns Show event and the Showground facilities have been fully funded by the Cairns Show Society, which includes the building and maintenance of associated infrastructure. Now in its 129th year, the existing infrastructure has become run-down and the showgrounds themselves are significantly underutilised, despite being available for lease throughout the year and being home to a range of other community groups. While its history is strong and importance to the region undeniable, the survival of the Cairns Show depends on local sponsorship

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

and is threatened by ever-increasing additional maintenance costs. A Master Plan commissioned by the State Government and released in 2019 sets out a long-term vision to rejuvenate the facility and boost community engagement. There is enormous potential for the Showgrounds to expand its year-round regional role as the provider of quality, safe, accessible, inclusive and affordable infrastructure if proposed upgrades as identified in the Master Plan are completed.

BACKGROUND The Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct has been managed and independently funded by the not-forprofit Cairns Agricultural, Pastoral and Mining Association (CAPMA) since inception. The Cairns Show was, and continues to be, built upon the hard work and generosity of the community and its business leaders. The community and commercial value of the Cairns Showgrounds is still significantly underutilised, despite the fact it is home to numerous not for profit clubs and groups and available for hire throughout the year. P 32


OUR RECOMMENDATION Over its long history the show has been staged at various venues but since 1931 the current Mulgrave Rd site has been its home. The land occupies part of two reserves for Sports and Showgrounds purposes gazetted in 1932 under the control of the then Cairns City Council as Trustee. The Cairns Show Society has selffunded the precinct. Every building was built and continues to be maintained by the society in partnership with volunteers, sponsors and local businesses.

NEXT STEPS The Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct upgrade has an estimated capital cost of $40 million. The Master Plan contains a detailed proposal to expand and upgrade the Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct with the following features:

The Showgrounds are an essential connection between Cairns and its diverse regional economy. A wide range of stakeholders participate in the Cairns Show including competitors, judges, showmen, exhibitors, entertainers, volunteers, businesses, government, professionals, community groups, services clubs, schools, families and children. Agricultural displays and competitions remain the heart and soul of the Show, serving to affirm the importance of traditional rural and primary industries in the life and economy of this region. The CAPMA lease expired in October 2019. In September 2019, Cairns Regional Council offered an interim three-year permit to enable more detailed evaluation of the Master Plan and its financial modelling to be carried out before reviewing a long term tenure.

r etain and upgrade the historic Headrick grandstand;

pgrade and expand the Fred Moule u exhibition building as adjunct to the Cairns Convention Centre with a new multi-use design;

reserve and promote the ecological and p historical importance of the Fearnley St canal;

evelop an RV camping area targeting the d expanding ‘grey nomad’ market; and

ulti-purpose buildings serving as m emergency recovery centres, community programs and sporting facilities, in particular the disability sporting sector through NDIS design.

That in 2020-2021 the State Government commit $40 million to upgrade the Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct in line with the Master Plan.

With the Master Planning process complete, the project now requires a business case to facilitate environmental approvals and progress the precinct upgrade to design and construction. The implementation of the Master Plan will result in a sustainable and profitable business model through modern infrastructure which enables the Cairns Showgrounds to diversify its income streams and expand its target markets.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $40m

2020-2021

2021-2022

$20m

$20m

State Investment

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 33


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

CAIRNS DESTINATION SPORT • BRIEFING • NOTE SUMMARY •

Cairns is Australia’s most global regional city and has a unique opportunity to cement itself as an international destination of choice for sports tourism, sports events, and sports research and education.

A $1 million investment is sought from the State Government to develop a detailed scoping study to further understand the opportunity.

This initiative complements the proposed Queensland/ SEQ 2032 Olympic Bid, with the development of sporting facilities and training capabilities in the region supporting the State’s delivery of IOC’s “New Norms”.

Continued investment provides potential for Cairns to eventually rival the international cities of Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore as a premier destination for tropical sports conditioning, training and tourism.

THE ISSUE

Cairns has a unique opportunity to position itself as a destination of choice for sports tourism, elite level sports training camps, mass participation sporting events, and sports related research and education. The region’s specific competitive advantages include: •

A track record of attracting and hosting large scale sporting events and training camps with recent examples including: the Ironman AsiaPacific Championship Cairns; Paralympic Pan Pacific Swimming Championships; NRL and AFL league games; Commonwealth Games Basketball (2018); Rugby League World Cup Games (2017); international swim team training camps; Davis Cup Tennis; Seven Cairns Marathon Festival; and the GBR Masters Games amongst others; An existing and well-established national level sporting team in the Cairns Taipans (basketball), with an aspiration to attract a WNBL team to the region (Women’s Basketball); A range of high standard sporting facilities including: the Tobruk Memorial Pool; Cairns Convention Centre; Cairns Basketball Stadium; Cazalys Stadium (AFL and cricket); Cairns International Tennis Centre; Cairns Regional Hockey Centre; and Barlow Park (athletics, rugby league, rugby union and soccer);

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Two well established universities (CQUniversity and James Cook University), existing tertiary sports and exercise science education and research activities occurring in region and the potential for further expansion;

A climate which is attractive for winter training camps and events and which also lends itself to tropical sports conditioning and research;

Strong domestic and international aviation links and ancillary facilities (accommodation etc.) to support sports tourism, training camps and events; and

Existing and strengthening sporting links with PNG and the Pacific, particularly for rugby league, and the potential for this and other initiatives to support future rectangular stadium development.

BACKGROUND

Growth in professional women’s sport and tropical sports conditioning also represent potential areas of opportunity that Cairns is well positioned to benefit from. A detailed scoping study is required to further understand the opportunity and how Cairns can best position itself as an internationally recognised sports destination of choice. It is expected that the study would incorporate two phases.

P 34


PHASE ONE: Market/Needs Assessment

Phase one would investigate the potential market opportunities for sports tourism, events training camps, research and education, rectangular stadium use etc. It would analyse emerging trends at both a domestic and international level with a view to identifying significant growth opportunities. The region’s specific competitive advantages would be considered as part of this phase as would existing proposals put forward by a variety of proponents. Phase one would also include an audit of the existing sporting, education and research expertise, facilities and infrastructure in the region as well as consultation with key regional stakeholders (universities, sporting bodies, tourism marketing agencies etc.). It would also include a gap analysis identifying key investments and development required to meet the priority areas of market opportunity. PHASE TWO: Business Case and Implementation Plan Phase two would build on the results of Phase one and provide detailed commercial feasibility analysis as well as an implementation plan for key initiatives identified. Work is expected to include consideration of funding models for infrastructure establishment and operation, analysis of governance and collaboration models, cost benefit analysis, risk assessment and mitigation strategies. The output from Phase two would be a business case/s for the specific opportunities/facilities required to meet the priorities identified from the market and needs assessment phase.

The potential establishment in Cairns of a Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) team, stadium, and associated CQUniversity Women in Sport Research Centre. CQUniversity in partnership with Cairns Basketball Association (CBA) and the Cairns NBL Taipans have already identified this initiative as a priority worthy of further investigation.

Potential Tropical Sports Conditioning Centre Facilities which would provide a world class base for tropical sports science serving the local community, youth athletes, and occupational/ tactical personnel along with bringing elite national and international athletes to the region. This is an initiative previously identified by James Cook University and will focus on both teaching and research in areas such as heat stress and physical activity, heat-acclimatisation training for strength and endurance athletes and industryrelated heat illness.

The potential for a new/upgraded multi-use rectangular stadium to: support a proposed Cairns/Papua New Guinea (PNG) NRL bid; potentially host national and international level games from other codes including soccer, rugby union; provide a large scale outdoor venue for concerts and events; and provide a potential base for retail, accommodation, research/ education and other activities. Such a stadium could also potentially house facilities for a range of other sporting codes and initiatives.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That the State Government invest $1 million to complete a two stage scoping study to identify and leverage the opportunity for Cairns to become an internationally recognised sports destination of choice.

These are among the concepts that would be further considered and explored as part of the scoping study. This initiative also complements the proposed Queensland/SEQ 2032 Olympic Bid with the development of sporting facilities and training capabilities in region supporting the case for such a bid. Continued investment provides potential for Cairns to eventually rival the international cities of Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore as one of world’s premier destinations for tropical sports conditioning and training as well as sports tourism.

NEXT STEPS A number of proposals/concepts that could potentially contribute to the region’s reputation as a sporting destination of national and international significance have already emerged. These include:

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $1 million

2020-2021

State Investment

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

$1m P 35


THE CAIRNS MARINE PRECINCT HAS SERVICED THE DEFENCE, BORDER FORCE AND MARINE INDUSTRIES FOR MANY YEARS PHOTO CREDIT: TROPICAL REEF SHIPYARD

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 36


DEFENCE AND MARINE


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Defence and Marine

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Defence and Marine: Lieutenant General John Grey (Ret’d)

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Lieutenant General John Grey AC (Ret’d), Advance Cairns Patron Robert Downing, General Manager Tropical Reef Shipyard Justin Parer, Managing Director BSE Maritime Solutions Joann Pyne, Chief Academic Officer TAFE Queensland Ben Renwick, General Manager Operations Norship

Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

Defence and Marine issues to discuss: • •

Cairns Marine Precinct Pacific Engagement Strategy

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 38


DEFENCE

AND

MARINE

Delegate Bios

LIEUTENANT GENERAL JOHN GREY AC (RET’D) ADVANCE CAIRNS PATRON

Lieutenant General (Retired) John Grey AC is a Patron, Advance Cairns and has been a member of the Far North Queensland community since July 1995 following his retirement from the Australian Army. From 1999-2016, he was Chancellor James Cook University, Chair Great Tropical Drive Tourism Project 2005-2007, Chair Wet Tropics Management Authority 20032009, Director Advance Cairns Ltd 2001-2003, Chair Cape York Advisory Panel Natural Heritage Trust 2001-2002, Leader Far North Sugar Task Force 2000-2003, Director Tarong Energy Corp Ltd 1997-1999, Member Australian War Memorial Council 1999-2005 and 1992-1995 and Special Consultant to the Chief Minister Northern Territory 1999-2001. His military service included: Chief of the General Staff (now called Chief of Army) 1992-1995, Deputy Chief of the General Staff 1991-1992, Assistant Chief of the Australian Defence Force – Logistics 1989-1991. John was awarded an AO in 1991 and promoted to AC in 1995.

ROBERT DOWNING

GENERAL MANAGER TROPICAL REEF SHIPYARD Robert began his career as an apprentice fitter and turner with NQEA (formerly known as North Queensland Engineers and Agents), a major Queensland shipbuilder and manufacturing company. While in their employment he gained exposure to all aspects of the company’s operations including ship repair, ship construction and hovercraft construction, as well as the sugar and mining industries. Robert remained at NQEA for 17 years and during this time he transitioned through various roles, his last role was Contracts Administrator. Robert joined Tropical Reef Shipyard in 2000 as part of the project team for the Australian Navy Landing Craft Heavy LOTE contract. Since then he has held various management positions including Project Manager, Estimator, Dock Master, Operations Manager and his current position as General Manager, Director and Shareholder. Robert has an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Robert is responsible for the management and direction of the Company.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 39


DEFENCE

AND

MARINE

Delegate Bios

JUSTIN PARER

MANAGING DIRECTOR BSE MARITIME SOLUTIONS Justin Parer is the Managing Director of BSE Maritime Solutions. He joined Ernst and Young as an accountant after completing his commerce degree and spent some years in the profession including a posting to The Solomon Islands. In 1998 he had his first real involvement in the Maritime Industry by taking a role as Commercial Manager at the Cairncross Dockyard in Brisbane. In 2000 he purchased the Brisbane Slipways business and was instrumental in the survival of the old NQEA site in Cairns, when BSE acquired it from administrators in 2012. Further investment in the Cairns facility was made and the site is now the base for the largest mobile travel lifter in the world. Justin holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Bond University, is a Chartered Accountant and is Alumni of Harvard University via their OPM course. Justin has a passion for customer service and for trying to find better ways to do things. He believes in longer term relationships and in working with other industry players in building better products and services.

JOANN PYNE

CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER TAFE QUEENSLAND Joann Pyne is the Chief Academic Officer of TAFE Queensland. TAFE Queensland is the largest, most experienced training provider in the state, with more than 500 nationally-recognised qualifications to choose from across 50 locations across the state, and a variety of study modes available. As the Chief Academic Officer, Joann leads the academic governance processes of TAFE Queensland and chairs the TAFE Queensland Academic Board. Prior to this role, Joann was the General Manager of TAFE Queensland North Region. For the past two decades, Joann has been instrumental in developing a range of programs that have received awards and accolades for their innovative approach, unique and successful partnerships and their responsiveness to business, industry and community. She is passionate about TAFE being an active and high quality learning organisation that students, employers, industry and employees are proud to be associated with. Prior to joining the TAFE Queensland team, Joann worked in a variety of roles in both local and federal governments.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 40


DEFENCE

AND

MARINE

Delegate Bios

BEN RENWICK

GENERAL MANAGER OPERATIONS NORSHIP Ben Renwick is a proud Queenslander, born in Cairns. After a distinguished career in the Navy Ben returned to Queensland with his family where he has worked extensively in the Defence and Ship Repair and Maintenance sectors across a range of senior roles. Today, as the General Manager Operations for Norship, he continues to lead the successful operational transformation of an Australian Business which is now active in the provision of all aspects of ‘Through Life Asset Management Services’ in the Australasian / Asia Pacific region. Norship is a top 10 Defence SME which delivers extensive Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Marine services and Norship operates amongst other things, Australia’s pre-eminent Patrol Boat Shipyard in Cairns.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 41


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

CAIRNS MARINE PRECINCT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The Cairns Marine Precinct is a national defence asset that employs 4600 people. • A State policy commitment is sought to position and formally recognise Cairns as a Regional Maintenance Centre for the Royal Australian Navy. • A State Government commitment is sought to secure from the Federal Government the long term, continuous maintenance and sustainment programs for at least four Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and preferably six OPVs in Cairns. • The Queensland Government, through the Ports North master planning process, must deliver a strategic roadmap for Cairns that caters for the long-term needs of Defence and industry. • Investment complements the Queensland Superyacht Strategy 2018-2023 and the growing Defence requirements of Australia’s Step-up to the Pacific initiatives.

“ Cairns is a really strategic port for us… there’s a lot of consideration for major infrastructure in the port.” Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, Head of Maritime Systems, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment group (CASG), Pacific2019

THE ISSUE The Cairns Port is a critical enabler of the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) economy, with the region welcoming the Federal Government’s commitment to base at least four new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) in Cairns over the next decade. The sustainment and maintenance of vessels in northern Australia aligns well with existing shipbuilding commitments in southern Australia, and complements the strategic objectives of Australia’s Step-Up to the Pacific foreign policy initiatives. As one of three Regional Maintenance Centres for the Royal Australian Navy, the others being Darwin and Perth, Cairns provides a national naval sustainment and maintenance hub enabling the Cairns Marine Precinct to build on its present commitments of servicing vessels from HMAS Cairns, Darwin, the United States and the Pacific Islands. The significant Defence and Border Force contracts managed out of the precinct ensure a skilled, permanent marine and engineering workforce of 4600 people is retained yearround. The economic significance of the precinct is reflected in the shipbuilding and repairs sector specialisation ratio of 24.24 (Cairns LGA). In addition to servicing Australia’s Defence fleet, Cairns is home to a large and diverse marine sector with 1603 commercial vessels

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

registered across tourism, fishing and shipping, and an active cruising yacht squadron. The precinct also plays host to superyachts and cruise liners visiting the Pacific. To retain its vital workforce and meet the needs of this growing sector, Cairns requires additional marine maintenance and sustainment capability. This will enable the precinct to continue to service Defence, Border Force and industry needs while providing growth, jobs and a secure future for TNQ families. Under an existing $24 million Federal Government commitment, Stage 1 of a Cairns Marine Maintenance Precinct upgrade has delivered wharves, hardstands, slipway extension and service upgrades. A commitment of $125 million is now sought for Stages 2 and 3, which will lead to significant increases in precinct capacity and complement the Department of Defence $420 million commitment to expand the HMAS Cairns naval base. Stages 2 and 3 will also complement and support the Queensland Superyacht Strategy 2018-2023 and the Ports North Master Planning process. Stage 2 requires $25 million, with $24 million to be shared across each of the three slipways in 2020 and $1 million to be invested in developing a precinct-wide business case. Stage 3 requires $100 million to support delivery of the recommended actions. P 42


OUR RECOMMENDATION It has been calculated that for every dollar spent on Defence in Cairns, the multiplier effect equates to over $5 in other sectors of the economy. A Defence investment of $420 million will therefore have an impact of $2 billion on the TNQ economy.

motor launches. Cairns also provides support for Pacific Class patrol boats operated by neighbouring Pacific nations.

NEXT STEPS Timely completion of the Ports North master plan is a critical enabler in delivering opportunities and confidence to stakeholders, enabling private investment. Queensland Government investment in the Cairns Port should be directed towards ensuring there is productivity enhancing and security enabled infrastructure.

BACKGROUND The Cairns Marine Precinct has serviced the Defence, Border Force and marine industries for many years and as home to Fleet Base Pacific (HMAS Cairns), is one of the few ports in Australia that can offer the Department of Defence significant expansion opportunities in berth and land facilities.

In addition, HMAS Cairns and the three shipyards need the option to develop their leased properties through opportunities created by the Ports North master plan that:

The Queensland Government’s ongoing support and facilitation of the Federal expansion of HMAS Cairns and support to Pacific nations vessels contributes significantly to the diversification and enhancement of the TNQ economy. Under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act (2018) the Cairns port is a critical national infrastructure asset. It is the northern-most naval base on the eastern seaboard and plays a key strategic role in Australia’s northern naval capability. In acknowledging this role, in 20172018 the Federal Government committed to upgrading the precinct through staged investment. HMAS Cairns currently employs about 900 Navy and civilian personnel, and provides administrative, logistic and maintenance support to nine homeported vessels, consisting of one Armidale Class patrol boat, two Cape Class patrol boats, two Leeuwin Class hydrographic survey ships and four Paluma Class survey

Facilitate a contiguous marine precinct, creating controlled access to Defence related facilities by the public but appropriate ready access to Navy and shipyards for SMEs.

rovide for commercial export wharfage, P handling and storage needs to be separated from the ‘secure’ areas with good road corridors and limited public access to unlock the ‘food bowl’ potential of TNQ.

nable specialist prestige Super Yacht E infrastructure of competitive ‘world standard’ to be further developed.

nable further development of the cruise ship E and tourism wharfage and terminals.

rovide important tidal inundation mitigation P strategies for the Marine Precinct.

elocate the trawler base, private yacht R facilities, and public boat ramp to achieve separation from the naval base, the three slipways, and export wharfage areas.

That the Queensland Government adopts and promotes a policy position strongly supporting Cairns as a Regional Maintenance Centre for the Royal Australian Navy.

That through the Ports North Master Planning process, the Queensland Government delivers timely completion of a strategic roadmap for Cairns that caters for the long-term needs of Defence and industry.

That the Queensland Government support and facilitate the Federal expansion of HMAS Cairns, ensuring the Department of Defence delivers on the initial $300 million upgrade of the navy base by 2025.

That to further develop the Cairns Marine Precinct, the Queensland and Federal Governments commit $125 million for stages 2 and 3 of the precinct, delivering a strategic national Defence asset that meets the security needs of Australia in the Pacific region.

That the Queensland Government work with the Federal Government to secure the long term, continuous maintenance and sustainment industry for Defence and Border Force vessels in Cairns, and support the home porting of at least four, and preferably six, Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), including associated sustainment and maintenance work.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $545m State Stage 2 and 3 Investments

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2023-2024

2024-2025

2025-2026

$25m

$100m

-

-

-

-

-

-

$100m

$100m

$100m

$120m

Defence Investment

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 43


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

PACIFIC ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY - CAIRNS MARINE PRECINCT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Cairns is the ideal strategic hub for the implementation of Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy

The Cairns port is a critical national infrastructure asset with established shipping links to the nations of the Pacific.

Cairns has the structures and relationships in place to support the establishment of a Federal Office of the Pacific to administer the Pacific Engagement Program from northern Australia.

State Government support is sought to facilitate the establishment of an Office of the Pacific in Cairns to cement Queensland’s role in delivering the national Pacific Step-Up agenda.

THE ISSUE

BACKGROUND

While the newly formed Federal Government Office of the Pacific has been tasked with overseeing Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy, Cairns already has strong established networks and links with Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the nations of the Pacific. Together with expertise in working with dispersed populations and tropical climates, Cairns is ideally placed to provide meaningful and informed stimulus to Australia’s Pacific engagement strategies.

The Cairns Marine Precinct has the capacity to meet future sustainment and maintenance requirements for the Pacific region and to become a Regional Maintenance Centre for the Royal Australian Navy.

The Cairns Marine Precinct houses HMAS Cairns which is the northern-most naval base on Australia’s east coast. It is also the only naval base in Queensland and one of only five naval bases in Australia. Providing ready, direct access to PNG and the Pacific nations via sea, Cairns is the ideal base for Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and Border Force vessels. Anchored by three main slipways, the marine precinct is supported by a number of contractors and SMEs that are experienced in undertaking sustainment and maintenance of the range of vessels in use.

Geo-political tensions in the region have led to a bi-lateral agreement between the United States and Australia to reinstate the Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island, PNG. HMAS Cairns and the marine precinct provide the closest naval support and Australian Regional Maintenance Centre for the Lombrum naval base, with air and sea transport routes that pass only through international, Australian and PNG airspace or territorial waters. The combination of the Cairns port and Cairns International airport enables direct access to PNG and South Pacific nations by and through Australia. Cairns is already home to many of Australia’s Pacific Engagement initiatives covering security; economic development; infrastructure financing; and foreign affairs and trade. Basing an Office of the Pacific in Cairns will enable Australia to quickly build stronger relationships

“ We see it as a strategic port, as a port of national significance…its link between here and the Pacific is a key part of why we believe that is so strategic... Cairns is very important to our engagement with the Pacific.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 22 January 2019

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 44


OUR RECOMMENDATION with our Pacific neighbours, providing a more coordinated strategic approach and providing the Commonwealth with better value for existing budgeted measures. For example:

to our neighbours. JCU has already established tropical health and medicine research relationships with the University of South Pacific and Fiji National University.

TRADE: The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade is inquiring currently into activating greater trade and investment with Pacific Island countries. The PACER Plus free trade agreement has been established with 14 signatory countries, including Australia, collectively focussed on facilitating trade to strengthen the global position of the Pacific.

SPORT AND CULTURE: Through sport and family links, TNQ’s population has an important understanding of the cultural and heritage issues relevant to the nations of the Pacific, supporting the prominence and acceptance of Cairns as a destination and strategic base for the region. Cairns is the ideal base for elite athlete training camps associated with the Australia-Pacific Sports Linkages program, has strong links established through the Pacific Games, and provides the perfect base for hosting future Pacific Games.

EDUCATION: Strong alignment exists between Cairns’ tertiary institutions and the Australian Pacific Training Coalition, with structures already in place to administer the new Australia-University of the South Pacific partnership worth $84m over six years (2019-24). University research projects already exist and there is scope for further engagement. In addition, the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College is co-located with the Marine Precinct and provides the opportunity to contribute to the development of the South Pacific nations fisheries control and security through the training of crew members. Training can take place while vessels undertake sustainment and maintenance, or personnel can fly into Cairns specifically for training. GOVERNMENT AND TRADE: Cairns is home to the Exchange Innovation and Information Centre (EiiC) which works in partnership with the PNG Government to promote business and educational links between Cairns, PNG and the Pacific. The EiiC is unique within Australia and houses the offices of Tradelinked Cairns PNG Pacific, and of PNG National and Provincial agencies. Opportunities exist for outreach development in communications; tourism, agriculture and fisheries. HEALTH: Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Services in partnership with James Cook University (JCU) is established as a world leader in tropical health diseases, knowledge that that is vital

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

That the Queensland Government commit to supporting and facilitating Cairns’ proposal to establish an Office of the Pacific in Cairns to drive the implementation of Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy from northern Australia.

That the Queensland Government commit to formally designating Cairns as Queensland’s northern hub for delivering the national Step-Up to the Pacific program.

NEXT STEPS The establishment of a Federal Office of the Pacific in Cairns would enable its staff to draw directly on the expertise, existing knowledge and links that the Cairns public and private sectors have with the South Pacific nations. Being based in a wet tropics city, which leads to an expertise of life in the tropics, would enable the Office of the Pacific to better understand the issues faced by the peoples of the Pacific and how to promote the regions development. Direct air and sea access to PNG and the Pacific nations would be easier and quicker from Cairns than Canberra, promoting closer contacts and better understanding of issues and developments. Access by Pacific nations officials and business leaders to the Office would also likely to be more readily accepted. Queensland Government support is therefore sought to aid and facilitate discussions with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to secure an Office of the Pacific in Cairns.

P 45


THE HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE LINER ‘MS AMSTERDAM’ BERTHED AT TRINITY WHARF WITH A US NAVAL VESSEL IN THE BACKGROUND PHOTO CREDIT: PORTS NORTH

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 46


EDUCATION AND TRAINING


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Education and Training

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Education and Training: Professor Sandra Harding AO

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Sandra Harding AO, Vice Chancellor & President James Cook University & Director Advance Cairns Jodie Duignan-George, Associate Vice-Chancellor Cairns & Far North Region for CQUniversity & Director Advance Cairns Jo Pyne, Chief Academic Officer TAFE Queensland Janine Bowmaker, President Study Cairns and Managing Director Banora International Bill Dixon, Executive Director Catholic Education Service (Diocese of Cairns)

Attached are bios on each delegate. DELEGATE ISSUES

Education and Training issues to discuss: • •

Education and Research Sector Apprentice Training

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 48


EDUCATION

AND

TRAINING

Delegate Bios

SANDRA HARDING AO

VICE CHANCELLOR & PRESIDENT JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY & DIRECTOR ADVANCE CAIRNS Professor Sandra Harding, Officer of the Order of Australia, took up her appointment as Vice Chancellor and President of James Cook University Australia in January 2007. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring clear and effective leadership and management of the University across all operating sites, including campuses in Cairns, Singapore and Townsville. Educated at the Australian National University, The University of Queensland and North Carolina State University (USA), Professor Harding has extensive academic and academic leadership experience. An economic sociologist by training, her areas of enduring academic interest include work, organisation and markets and how they work. She also has a keen interest in public policy in two key areas: education policy and related areas; and; the global Tropics, northern Australia and economic development. In January 2019, Professor Harding was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2019 honours list for her distinguished service to education at the national and international level, and to the community of Queensland.

JODIE DUIGNAN-GEORGE

ASSOCIATE VICE-CHANCELLOR CAIRNS & FAR NORTH REGION CQUNIVERSITY & DIRECTOR ADVANCE CAIRNS Jodie Duignan-George is the foundation Associate Vice-Chancellor for the Cairns and Far North Region of CQUniversity. With a 20+ year career in higher education, Jodie has a strong understanding of the issues facing the sector, particularly from a regional university perspective. Her interests, however, extend beyond higher education to include regional development more broadly. She is an engagement specialist and a strategic thinker who collaborates across boundaries to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for stakeholders. Jodie is an active member of her community, serving on the Management Committees of Study Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce (as Vice President). Jodie is also a Director on the Board of Advance Cairns (locally) and the Company Secretary of Engagement Australia (nationally). She also serves on local and state government committees and is a member of the board of RDA FNQ&TS.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 49


EDUCATION

AND

TRAINING

Delegate Bios

JOANN PYNE

CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER TAFE QUEENSLAND

Joann Pyne is the Chief Academic Officer of TAFE Queensland. TAFE Queensland is the largest, most experienced training provider in the state, with more than 500 nationally-recognised qualifications to choose from across 50 locations across the state, and a variety of study modes available. As the Chief Academic Officer, Joann leads the academic governance processes of TAFE Queensland and chairs the TAFE Queensland Academic Board. Prior to this role, Joann was the General Manager of TAFE Queensland North Region. For the past two decades, Joann has been instrumental in developing a range of programs that have received awards and accolades for their innovative approach, unique and successful partnerships and their responsiveness to business, industry and community. She is passionate about TAFE being an active and high quality learning organisation that students, employers, industry and employees are proud to be associated with. Prior to joining the TAFE Queensland team, Joann worked in a variety of roles in both local and federal governments.

JANINE BOWMAKER

PRESIDENT STUDY CAIRNS AND MANAGING DIRECTOR BANORA INTERNATIONAL Janine is the President of Study Cairns and has lived and breathed study tourism and international education her entire life. Having travelled, studied and lived throughout the world, she found her passion for international education and tourism at an early age, establishing Banora International Group in 1996. Since then, she and her equally passionate team have developed several other divisions and unique programs which strive to educate in and out of the classroom though experiential learning, cultural immersion and edutourism. In addition to her voluntary role with Study Cairns, Janine sits on several tourism boards, and is regularly invited to speak on edutourism at various forums nationally. Her desire is to improve the quality of services made available to international students and increase their future opportunities.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 50


EDUCATION

AND

TRAINING

Delegate Bios

BILL DIXON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION SERVICE (DIOCESE OF CAIRNS) Bill Dixon is the Executive Director of Catholic Education Services – Diocese of Cairns. Catholic Education in the Diocese of Cairns operates 29 schools and colleges with an enrollment of almost 11,5000 students and is one of the region’s largest non-government employers with 2000 staff. The overall annual budget for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Cairns is approaching $250 million. Bill is also a past Chair of the Queensland Chapter of The Association for Learning Environments Australasia and is currently the Secretary of the Australasian Chapter of The Association for Learning Environments based in Melbourne. In addition, he is a Board member and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for CENET, a NSW based company that provides internet and technology services to over 700 schools in the eastern states of Australia. He previously was employed as the Manager, Capital Programs for the Queensland Catholic Education Commission based in Brisbane as well as representing the Executive Director on the Queensland Schools Planning Commission.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 51


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Tropical North Queensland

has a dynamic and vibrant education sector that includes two universities, six TAFE campuses, 35 secondary schools, and a number of private language and business schools.

• Youth unemployment currently sits at 9.3% and the region faces a skills shortage in areas related to health, allied health, aviation and a number of other STEAM professions. • To address regional skill gaps four key projects have been identified: $35 million for Queensland’s first Comprehensive University High School, $45 million for stages 2 and 3 of CQUniversity’s Asia Pacific Aviation Hub, $50 million for a permanent new CQUniversity campus in the Cairns CBD, and $26.7 million recurrent for Commonwealth Supported Places.

THE ISSUE Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has a dynamic and vibrant education sector that includes two universities, six TAFE campuses, 35 secondary schools, and a number of private language and business schools. Nearly 13,000 people are employed in education and training in TNQ, accounting for 5.2% of the State education workforce and contributing $1.1B to the economy. However, the region is shifting towards a knowledge-based economy which has implications for educators and regional training facilities. To accommodate the shift, the sector has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure in recent years, and a number of additional projects are flagged for investment. With a strong student base now established, CQUniversity and James Cook University (JCU) are experiencing rapid growth in the Cairns region. Through collaborative partnerships, to address current gaps in education pathways the two universities are working to build capacity across a range of industries and community initiatives. In 2017 CQUniversity released a community impact plan consisting of six primary projects. Most of the projects in the 2017 plan were completed to varying degrees by the end of 2018, requiring the development of an updated CQUniversity 2019 Cairns Community Impact Plan which includes:

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Queensland’s first comprehensive University High School ($35 million)

Stage 2 and 3 CQUniversity Asia Pacific Aviation Hub ($45 million)

Permanent new CQUniversity Cairns CBD campus ($50 million)

Based within JCU’s Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, JCU proposes to establish a Tropical Global Health Centre to produce research-enabled clinicians with extensive clinical training in population health and global public policy. The Centre will leverage investment in the Cairns University Hospital to provide students with globally relevant training and deliver a medical workforce specifically prepared to handle regional health challenges. Although initially focused on the medical workforce, the program will subsequently expand to include nursing, dentistry, allied health, pharmacy and veterinary health professionals.

BACKGROUND The TNQ region has an estimated resident population of 278,080 and population growth of 1.1% per annum. The attainment of a university degree in Cairns is 54% lower than the national average at 14.3%, while 8.5% of residents have an Advanced Diploma or Diploma and 22.9% have a Vocational certificate, on par with the rest of the State. P 52


Annual trend employment sits at 4.1% however over the past 12 months, most of this employment has occurred within the 25-44 year age group, leaving youth unemployment (15-24 years) at a much higher estimated 9.3%. While Cairns has two universities, access to appropriate courses and pathways into University are critical in bridging the high youth unemployment rate and encouraging young people to enter the workforce.

2.

Nationally over the next 5 years, an additional 85,000 health workers and 28,000 educators will be needed to fill jobs in regional areas. To fill this need, the importance of regional universities cannot be overstated with more than 55% of employed regional university graduates remaining in regional areas on completion of their studies.

QUniversity seeks $50 million to establish C a permanent, purpose-built CBD campus capable of accommodating 2,500+ students. The new, permanent campus will deliver an expanded range of training, education and research offerings that will diversify and grow the local economy and skilled workforce, while stimulating greater international student numbers in the CBD. This will cement CQUniversity’s presence in Cairns with a permanent CBD campus capable of absorbing forecast student growth, while galvanising Cairns’ identity as an agile, innovative two-university city.

3.

QUniversity seeks $45 million for the C second ($10 million) and third ($35 million) stages of its ambitious Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub. This funding will secure a second hanger at the Cairns International Airport, new laboratory facilities including specialist space for Aviation Accidents Forensics, new flight simulators including a high-fidelity, world class flight simulator capable of attracting global commercial flight training business, and the roll-out of new aviation courses; Bachelor of Accident Forensics, Bachelor of Airline and Airport Management, Bachelor of Airworthiness, and Aviation Masters and Research Programs.

NEXT STEPS In addressing youth unemployment and preparing the region’s workforce for the future, the following four projects have been identified as essential enablers. 1.

T o establish Queensland’s first Comprehensive University High School, Cairns State High School and CQUniversity seek $35 million in funding. The funding will deliver new teaching facilities and university education offerings at Cairns State High School, delivering education pathways and employment pipelines at fundamental levels. As a Queensland first, the school will focus on the Sciences, Aerospace, Engineering, and Performing Arts disciplines, supporting the government’s STEAM agenda and encouraging more young people into areas of critical workforce need.

OUR RECOMMENDATION

4.

That the State Government invest $35 million in 2020-2021 to action

the Comprehensive University High School, with a further $10 million in 2021-2022 for Stage 2 of the CQUniversity AsiaPacific Aviation Hub and $50 million in 2022-2023 for the CQUniversity CBD Campus, to collectively address skill gaps and unemployment in Tropical North Queensland.

That the Federal Government invest $35 million in 2022-2023 to progress Stage 3 of the CQUniversity Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub, positioning Cairns as a world-class leader in aviation training.

That to support the training of a regional medical workforce, the Federal Government allocate an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places and 30 International places recurrent, together with an allocation of Destination Australia scholarships to JCU’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

T o support the training and recruitment of Cairns-based clinicians, JCU requires an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and 30 international places recurrent for the JCU Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. This will allow JCU to offer Years 1-6 of the MBBS in Cairns and Mackay. The additional places will be distributed across the regional centres of Cairns (30), Mackay (10) and Townsville (40).

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $130m

2020-2021

2021-2022

University High School

Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub

CQUniversity CBD Campus

Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub

$35m

$10m

$50m

-

-

-

-

$35m

State Investment Federal Investment

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

2022-2023

P 53


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

SKILLS AND TRAINING BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Over the past five years, there have been growing signs of worker shortages in many parts of Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) and the ability for business to employ and train apprentices is becoming more difficult.

Like all regions in Australia, youth unemployment in Cairns and TNQ is an ongoing concern and employers and businesses are keen to see local people trained to fill these skill shortage areas.

To assist our young people in gaining employment as an apprentice or trainee, and to increase the completion rates of apprenticeships, we need to trial an institution-based approach to year one of an apprenticeship.

THE ISSUE

BACKGROUND

Over the past five years, there have been growing signs of worker shortages in many parts of Tropical North Queensland (TNQ).

The ability for business to employ and train apprentices is becoming more difficult. For example, engineering companies report that many large projects are importing steel from overseas. This reduces the variety of work that an apprentice can experience. In some cases, not all essential tasks can be covered during a four-year apprenticeship. For construction workers, the rise in the use of sub-contractors on major projects promotes a feast or famine culture that is not conducive to the employment of apprentices on four-year contracts.

As at September 2019, there were 7629 advertised job vacancies in Queensland. The majority of vacancies were for skilled workers such as medical practitioners, nurses, engineers and automotive technicians but a large number of low skilled labouring jobs were also on offer. In August last year, the Queensland Government identified 139 potential future skills shortages in traditional, but rapidly changing professions. These included electrical works, plumbing, engineering, healthcare, hospitality, early childhood, digital technologies, robotics and utilities. The introduction of free apprenticeships has provided a boost to these occupations. In addition, in September 2019 the TNQ region became a Designated Area Migration Region, with the resulting DAMA now open for businesses and employers to sponsor skilled migrants in the Cassowary Coast, Atherton Tablelands, Mareeba, Cairns and the Douglas Shire districts through the Cairns Chamber of Commerce. This program addresses many critical skill shortage areas and provides short term solutions to businesses. However, like all regions in Australia, youth unemployment is an ongoing concern and employers and businesses are keen to see local people trained to fill these skill shortage areas.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Various increased financial incentives from the State and Federal Governments have reduced the direct cost of employing apprentices, but do not address the indirect costs, that is the supervision and management of new apprentices, particularly in the first year. In the first year, the basic skills of the trade are taught, and the apprentice is a cost to the business and does not contribute to the productivity of the enterprise. Research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has found that, for students both at school and not at school, a pre-apprenticeship roughly doubles their chances of obtaining an apprenticeship. ¹ “Prospective workers need solid foundational skills and they need to be fully informed and prepared before commencing an apprenticeship or traineeship. While a degree of cancellation is inevitable, the more opportunity a person has to experience the industry before starting an apprenticeship or traineeship, the P 54


OUR RECOMMENDATION

more likely they will complete and go on to further career development. Fundamental to the apprenticeship and traineeship system in Queensland is the prerequisite knowledge base to enter and progress within the system. The foundation skills of literacy, numeracy and digital proficiency are the essential building blocks to either enter or complete a trade apprenticeship and to become a successful tradesperson”. ² School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) are generally very well regarded and work best when there are strong networks between schools and industry. The School Tech program at TAFE North, Cairns campus is an alternative high school program delivered through a partnership between TAFE Queensland Cairns campus, the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College, Woree State High School, and Skill360 Australia. Students complete Year 11 and 12 and also study two certificate programs. The aim is to transition students into School-Based Apprenticeships as quickly as possible. By the end of Year 12 students have had an equivalent amount of work placement as a first-year apprentice.

NEXT STEPS NCVER has identified a continuing slow reduction in the number of apprentices being indentured. This trend is consistent across Queensland and the nation.

simulated work experience. These short courses do not provide the time to introduce any significant delivery of foundation skills, including digital literacy. Many programs include job placements allowing employers and apprentices to test their “fit” for the commencement of an apprenticeship. From anecdotal feedback, getting the match between employer and apprentice right is critical to a successful outcome. So while they are successful in matching workers to employers, and providing some basic skills, they do not significantly reduce the workload on training apprenitces on the job in the first year, where we know the load is the greatest for employers. They also have minimal impact on foundation skills, which sometimes become critical in the 2nd and 3rd year of an apprenticeship when tasks become more complex.

To assist our young people in gaining employment as an apprentice or trainee, and to increase the completion rates of apprenticeships, we need to trial an institutionbased approach to year one of an apprenticeship.

A one year program should include a focus on foundational skills (including digital literacy). The program should also include significant work placements in a variety of enterprises, and in a simulated environment to ensure students obtain the skills they need to operate effectively as a second-year apprentice.

Sources: 1. https://www.ncver.edu.au/ research-and-statistics/publications/all-publications/the-effect-of-a-pre-apprenticeship-on-getting-an-apprenticeship 2. Motor Trades Association of Queensland submission to Positive Futures: Apprenticeships and Traineeships in Queensland Report to the Minister for Training and Skills June 2017 3. https://www.ncver.edu.au/__data/ assets/pdf_file/0034/8252809/Aand-T_June-QTR-2019_QLD.pdf

To assist our young people in gaining employment as an apprentice or trainee, and to increase the completion rates of apprenticeships, we need to trial an institution-based approach to year one of an apprenticeship. A one year program should include a focus on foundational skills (including digital literacy). The program should also include significant work placements in a variety of enterprises, and in a simulated environment to ensure students obtain the skills they need to operate effectively as a second-year apprentice.

Currently, most pre-apprenticeship programs are around 3-6 months long and graduates leave with a small number of competencies and some

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 55


ENERGY


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Energy

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Energy: Dr Allan Dale

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1.

Dr Allan Dale, Professor of Tropical Regional Development James Cook University 2. James Harding, CEO Genex Power 3. Mike Barry, CEO MSF Sugar 4. Leo Ward, Managing Director Power & Data Support Services Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

Energy issues to discuss: •

Strategic Energy Sector Investment Framework

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 57


ENERGY Delegate Bios

DR ALLAN DALE

PROFESSOR OF TROPICAL REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY Allan is a Professor of Tropical Regional Development at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University. He has a strong interest in integrated governance, with a particular focus across the tropical world, northern Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. He has both extensive research and policy expertise in building strong governance systems, but particularly in regional, rural and social development and natural resource management. Allan was previously the Chair of RDA FNQ&TS, CEO of Terrain NRM and before that was responsible for natural resource policy in Queensland. He is also now the Chief Scientist for the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia. Allan has a long research background in analysing complex and multi-level governance system and is an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow with Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute.

JAMES HARDING CEO GENEX POWER

James has 30 years’ experience in the international project business, having been involved with the development, financing and implementation of major capital projects around the world. Prior to joining Genex, James was a Director and Head of Business Development at Abengoa Solar Power Australia, a world leader in commercial solar thermal energy and photovoltaic technology. He has previously worked in Australia, Europe and Asia, as General Manager Renewables with IPS Australia and MAN Ferrostaal (part of MAN AG), with the German utility RWE as Regional Director for development projects in South-East Asia, and in a variety of business development and management roles with the Kloeckner Group. He started his career in the project and export financing division of Kleinwort Benson, the UK merchant bank.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 58


ENERGY Delegate Bios

MIKE BARRY CEO MSF SUGAR

Mike was appointed to the position of CEO in February 2008. Before he joined MSF Sugar, Mike was previously managing director of the private equity-owned Hudson Building Supplies, one of Australia’s largest building supply companies. For the ten years prior to holding that position, Mr Barry held a number of senior management roles within Boral Limited, the most recent being Regional General Manager for Boral’s Construction Materials business in Western Australia and South Australia, where he had responsibility for the company’s concrete, quarries, transport, pre-cast concrete, asphalt and mining activities in those regions.

LEO WARD

MANAGING DIRECTOR POWER & DATA SUPPORT SERVICES

Leo Ward is an Electrical Contractor who grew up in Brisbane until moving to Cairns in 1989. He is currently a councillor on the Master Electricians Australia Board as well as being a Life Member and Alumni of MEA. In this industry, Leo has over 30years experience in the Cairns region and overall 45years of electrical trade experience. He started his own business Power & Data Support Services in 2003 which specialises in all critical power supply systems including UPS, generator power systems, and FLIR thermal imaging inspections. Further development opportunities in alternate power solutions with sustainability in solar systems is another project with his new company, ALT Solar. Leo also owns and operates an agricultural business on a property that has been a part of his family since 1874, with breeding Wagyu, Droughtmaster and Shorthorn livestock as part of a developing program.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 59


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS, BARRON RIVER, COOK, HILL FEDERAL ELECTORATES: KENNEDY

STRATEGIC ENERGY SECTOR FRAMEWORK BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Electricity prices are unsustainably high in TNQ and restrict economic growth opportunities. • The TNQ energy sector is defined by three distinct energy markets: (1) High Demand Fringe of Grid (Cairns); (2) Fringe of Fringe of Grid (Rural Towns/Properties across TNQ); and (3) Off-Grid (Remote Towns/ Properties). • Surveys indicate 15% of regional Queensland businesses have already cut staff hours or reduced staff numbers in response to escalating electricity bills. • A TNQ Energy Sector Strategic Investment Framework is proposed which requires shared State and Federal Government investment of approximately $1.5 million. • A State Government CSO of $465 million is in place to support regional Queenslanders. However, a 5% headroom charge is still applied state-wide which removes the benefit of the CSO in TNQ.

THE ISSUE

BACKGROUND

Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) faces unsustainably high electricity costs to the detriment of regional industries, small, medium and large enterprises, and domestic consumers. An estimated 75% of electricity consumed from the Queensland energy grid is by business customers and more than 97% of Queensland businesses are small business, making up 44% of jobs in the State.

Current energy prices seriously impact business and domestic consumers, adding to cost-ofliving pressures and resulting in business and industry restricting their regional economic growth opportunities. While subsidies exist for domestic consumers, industry operates in a largely unsubsidised environment, making energy a critical influence in decisions to invest in TNQ.

Given TNQ’s proximity to two world heritage listed assets, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest, the vision for the region is energy sector security, affordability and a seamless transition to reduced carbon emissions.

Across northern Queensland, inefficiencies in the electricity network drive the case for increased power generation. High transmission losses and fuel transport needs highlight the overwhelming costs of supplying power across the region and universally, the efficiency, reliability and security of TNQ’s energy supply needs to be assessed and improved.

At present, the region suffers significant energy security, affordability and transition challenges, while also providing opportunities such as energy export. Despite policy instability over the last decade, there have been major new investments in the region in wind, solar, biomass and hydro-power electricity generation. As more stable State and Federal energy policy frameworks emerge, to achieve energy security and affordability while also transitioning to reduced carbon emissions, TNQ will require a region-wide strategic investment framework and bilateral Government support.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

In response to escalating energy costs, the Queensland Electricity Users Network (QEUN) conducted a regional business survey in 2018 and identified that 15% of regional Queensland businesses had already cut staff hours or reduced staff numbers in response to escalating electricity bills. In addition, 30% would consider cutting staff if electricity prices rise again while conversely, 24% would consider expanding their business if electricity prices fell. The survey also identified five business sectors in regional Queensland greatly concerned about their ability to pay their power bills in full P 60


OUR RECOMMENDATION and on time. All five represent critical industries to the TNQ economy which combined, represent 35% of jobs and contribute $3.8 billion toward GRP annually: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

ccommodation and food service A Agriculture Arts and recreation Manufacturing Retail trade

As a predominantly tourism, services, resources and agricultural economy, TNQ stands firmly behind the need to: (i) ensure a strong reliable power strategy that delivers substantive energy security; (ii) identify new generation options that deliver improved energy affordability; and (iii) without compromising security and affordability, deliver significantly on reducing carbon intensity in energy production. However, preliminary work by the CSIRO Energy Flagship suggests that the TNQ energy sector is defined by three distinct energy markets: (1) High Demand Fringe of Grid (Cairns); (2) Fringe of Fringe of Grid (Rural Towns/Properties across TNQ); and (3) Off-Grid (Remote Towns/ Properties). The security, affordability and transition challenges and opportunities facing these three markets is diverse, requiring significantly different policy, budgetary and industry investment solutions. In addition, the impacts of disruptive technology, including the uptake of domestic new renewable sources, progress in battery storage technology, and advancements with electric car technology are certain to impact the way that energy is generated, stored, transmitted and consumed in the future. In response to escalating energy costs the State Government provides a Community Service Obligation (CSO) payment to Ergon Energy (Energy Queensland) to subsidise the cost of electricity for domestic and business users in regional Queensland. The purpose of the CSO is to ensure the Uniform Tariff Policy (UTP)

is implemented evenly across the State and in 2018-2019, the total CSO to support regional Queenslanders was $465 million.

That in 2020-2021 the Queensland and Federal Governments support development of the TNQ Energy Sector Investment Framework through shared investment of approximately $1.5 million (based on 50:50 contributions).

That to maintain the Uniform Tariff Policy and annual payment of the Community Service Obligation, the Queensland Government remove the 5% headroom requirement and reduce wholesale costs by 10%.

However, the 5% headroom charge introduced in 2013 to allow competition in south-east Queensland is applied state wide regardless of the fact that there is only one provider in regional Queensland. Coupled with high wholesale costs, this diminishes the benefit of the CSO in TNQ.

NEXT STEPS A decade of policy uncertainty has led to limited activity around the resolution of energy security issues. In addition, the complexity of electricity regulation is a barrier for community and industry engagement in energy reform discussion and delivery. Significant and targeted effort is needed to frame the investment opportunities that deliver security, affordability and carbon emission transition outcomes for regional Queensland. Therefore, through James Cook University’s Cairns Institute, it is proposed to develop an Energy Sector Strategic Investment Framework. This would aim to: •

Better understand key security and affordability drivers in our region’s energy markets;

xplore and define the most viable new E generation opportunities;

etermine the most critical policy refinement D and public-sector investment pathways;

xplore the potential for new energy and E energy services export opportunities in the region;

ngage with industry, community, Local E Government, and other key regional stakeholders to scope and identify current and future energy options and aspirations; and

evelop a cohesive, bilaterally supported D strategic pathway for regional investment.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $1.5m

2020-2021

State Investment

$0.75m

Federal Investment

$0.75m

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 61


HEALTH


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Health

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Health: Trent Twomey

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1.

Trent Twomey, Senior National Vice President Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Partner Alive Pharmacy Warehouse Group & Director & Immediate Past Chairman Advance Cairns 2. Sue Andrews, Chief Executive Gurriny Yealamucka Health Services Aboriginal Corporation 3. Professor Ian Wronski AO, Deputy Vice Chancellor Division of Tropical Health & Medicine James Cook University 4. Nick Loukas, President Cairns Chamber of Commerce & Director Alive Pharmacy Warehouse Group Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

Health issues to discuss: • •

Cairns University Hospital Innovation Precinct Cairns University Hospital

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 63


HEALTH Delegate Bios

TRENT TWOMEY

SENIOR NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT PHARMACY GUILD OF AUST, PARTNER ALIVE PHARMACY WAREHOUSE GROUP, DIRECTOR & IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN ADVANCE CAIRNS Trent is the Queensland State President and the Senior National Vice President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, an Adjunct Professor of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University, Chairman of the Northern Australia Alliance, Secretary of the World Pharmacy Council and Director and Immediate Past Chairman of Advance Cairns. Trent is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Council Member of the Queensland Futures Institute, Committee for Economic Development Australia Trustee, and the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian College of Pharmacy.

SUE ANDREWS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE GURRINY YEALAMUCKA HEALTH SERVICES ABORIGINAL CORPORATION Suzanne is a proud Aboriginal Woman from the Jaru, Punaba and Bunal Bardi peoples of Western Australia’s North Kimberley region. She grew up in Broome and moved to Yarrabah in her early teens, where she now lives and works on Gunganghi traditional lands of Yarrabah North Queensland. Suzanne has over 10 years’ experience in health and the community control sector and advocates for social change amongst her people and community. Suzanne is a member of Yarrabah Leaders Forum (YLF), which drives the strategic direction of the community of Yarrabah. Her current board positions include Northern Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Alliance (NATSIHA), Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN), Mutkin Residential and Community Care Indigenous Corporation and Deputy Chair for Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC). She is also a member of the Queensland Ministerial Sexual Health Advisory Committee, a member of the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework Committee, and is a small business owner of YarriCino Café in Yarrabah.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 64


HEALTH Delegate Bios

PROFESSOR IAN WRONSKI AO

DEPUTY VICE CHANCELLOR DIVISION OF TROPICAL HEALTH & MEDICINE JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY Professor Ian Wronski is Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University (JCU). He led the foundation of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, Australia’s only dedicated tropical health institute, is the Board Chair of the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre and a Board member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Life Sciences Innovation Forum. With over 40 years’ experience in rural, remote, tropical, public and Indigenous health, a key area of activity for Ian is the translation of this experience to rural, remote, Tropical and Indigenous communities worldwide. In 2014 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the areas of tropical and rural health and the health of Indigenous Australians. A recipient of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine Medal and the Life Sciences Queensland Industry Excellence Award, he was invested as a Life Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

NICK LOUKAS

PRESIDENT CAIRNS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & DIRECTOR ALIVE PHARMACY WAREHOUSE GROUP Nick Loukas is a local Pharmacist in Cairns and President of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce. He finished his schooling in Cairns and owned his first pharmacy at 22 years old in Mareeba. He then returned home to Cairns in 1995 where he owned a number of pharmacies in Cairns and Smithfield. He founded and developed the V Pharmacy and Alive Pharmacy Warehouse brands. At present, Nick is the Director and Brand Manager of Alive Pharmacy Warehouse Group with business interests in Cooktown, Cairns and Gladstone. In 2011, Nick was invited to work with JCU as Chair of the Pharmacy Advisory Committee and continues to hold this position. He also has a Bachelor of Business and studied at Harvard Business School. Nick is a fellow of the Australian College of Pharmacy Practice and Management and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a Director of the Tour of the Tropics bicycle race and a keen bike rider and triathlete. In November 2019 Nick became a director of North Queensland Primary Health Care (NQPHN). His passions are his family and growing businesses, the Cairns region and leadership.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 65


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

CAIRNS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL INNOVATION PRECINCT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Establishment of a Research, Education and Innovation (REI) Centre will support the transition of Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital status. • The new five-storey REI Centre is proposed on land adjacent to Cairns Hospital. James Cook University’s Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre (CTEC) will also be developed on the proposed site. • The REI Centre has received $60 million in Stage 1 funding. This funding is for acquisition of land for the REI Centre and to fund the development of James Cook University’s CTEC. • A Stage 2 State investment of $90 million is sought to progress the REI Centre to design and construction phase and a further $60 million is required to fit out an additional 80 beds in Cairns Hospital. • To implement the CHHHS’ new master plan, $10 million is sought for a business case.

THE ISSUE Clinical research, education and expanded health services are critical to meeting the health needs of Tropical North Queensland’s (TNQ’s) growing population. Establishment of a Research, Education and Innovation (REI) Centre and an expansion of services at Cairns Hospital will be a key element in the transition of Cairns Hospital to University status, allowing the hospital to deliver worldclass, high-quality care to address the critical health challenges facing TNQ. The proposed REI Centre will be adjacent to and support the Cairns Hospital in the areas of research and development and training, transforming the sector to a hightech, research-driven collaborative enterprise between the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS), James Cook University (JCU), TAFE, scientists, and private medical and technology firms. The proposed REI Centre will enable CHHHS to address known research gaps, such as: • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health; • Tropical health and medicine; • Healthcare data linkages and health service models of care; and • Equity of access to healthcare for patients with rheumatic heart disease, sexually transmitted infections, renal disease, diabetes and blood borne viruses.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

In addition to clinical research, the REI will provide opportunities for innovative delivery of health workforce education programs, plus ongoing clinical advancement in nursing, medical and allied health services for its patients and its workforce. The centre will also allow for research and education staff to be relocated from the Hospital’s A Block, enabling a relocation of administration staff from B Block to create space there for clinical use. The REI Centre will house a clinical education facility and a virtual care facility to support the delivery of telehealth patient services. A core element of the precinct will be James Cook University’s CTEC, a research-driven medical facility that received a $60 million bi-partisan commitment from the Prime Minister and then Opposition Leader on 21 January 2019. The $60 million bi-partisan commitment will progress the acquisition of land for the REI Centre and enable JCU to establish the CTEC facility. A further $90 million is now sought from the State Government to enable the REI Centre to progress to design and construction phase as well as $60 million to fit-out an additional 80 beds in Cairns Hospital. The proposed REI centre will support the transition of Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital. The CHHHS has recently finished a master plan which identifies $500 million in infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. $10 million is required to complete a business case to deliver the master plan. P 66


OUR RECOMMENDATION investments. CHHHS, supported by the Northern Queensland Primary Healthcare Network (PHN), JCU and Advance Cairns, is collectively seeking to improve the ability of Cairns to build its own medical, nursing and allied health workforce and translate research into practice to improve health outcomes in our community.

BACKGROUND The Cairns Hospital supports an estimated resident population of 278,000 and regularly provides acute medical services for residents of the Cape and Torres region (population of 26,399). Combined with estimated population growth of 1.1% per annum, and an ageing population, it is estimated that by 2026 an additional 67,000 people will reside in the catchment area with close to one in five residents being over 65 years of age. In addition, Cairns Hospital provides medical services for the estimated five million tourists that visit the region annually.

That to fast-track purchase of the land, in 2020the Queensland Government commits $90 million in funds to Queensland Health to progress Stage 2 of the Cairns University Hospital’s Health and Knowledge Precinct, enabling the establishment of a Research, Education and Innovation Centre in Cairns.

That the Queensland Government over three years from 2020-2021 provides $60 million to fit out an additional 80 beds in Cairns Hospital.

That the Queensland Government provides $10 million in 2019-2020 to fund a business case to implement the CHHHS master plan.

NEXT STEPS To deliver on the vision for the REI Centre, CHHHS is required to construct a dedicated new facility adjacent to Cairns Hospital. Having secured $60 million in Federal funding to progress the land acquisition for the project, a further $90 million is now sought from the State Government to progress the REI Centre to design and construction phase as well as $60 million to fit out an additional 80 beds in Cairns Hospital.

In 2018-2019 there were 74,667 presentations to the Cairns Hospital emergency department, a 24% increase over the preceding five years, and 82,727 patients were admitted to the Hospital. Throughout 2019 the emergency department has faced unprecedented pressure, averaging 211 patients per day, an increase of 4% year on year. Also 30% of emergency patients are tourists or people who live outside Cairns, in rural and remote areas including Cape York and Torres Strait.

Through expanding the Cairns Hospital precinct to accommodate medical research and specialised workforce training, the REI Centre will support the transition of Cairns Hospital to Level 6 University status. A core element of the precinct will be James Cook University’s CTEC, a research-driven medical facility. CTEC will also support the delivery of JCU’s proposed Tropical Global Health Centre, which will allow expansion of the JCU Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program to offer Years 1-6 in Cairns (and Mackay). The combined footprint of the Cairns Hospital, REI Centre and CTEC is proposed to be known as the Cairns University Hospital Innovation Precinct.

Demand for CHHHS services will therefore continue to rapidly increase. Expansion of the capability and status of the Cairns Hospital is required to meet the future health needs of the growing TNQ population. The proposal for a five-storey REI Centre to service this population has broad partner support and seeks to build on successive government

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $160 million

2019-2020

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

$10m

$120m

$15m

$15m

State Investment

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 67


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

CAIRNS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • In 2019 the State Government announced an operating budget of $1 billion for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. • Significant additional recurrent funding* beyond the current budget is sought to facilitate the transition of Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital (Level 6 tertiary referral). • Level 6 status will facilitate new services, reducing the need to travel outside the region for medical treatment. • The CHHHS master planning process has identified $500 million in infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, $10 million is now sought for a detailed business case for the master plan. • To attract, retain and educate the workforce required, JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry requires an extra 50 Commonwealth Supported Places, 30 International places and an allocation of scholarships through the Destination Australia scholarships program.

THE ISSUE Expanded clinical services and a qualified and comprehensive workforce at Cairns Hospital are critical for meeting the health needs of Tropical North Queensland’s (TNQ’s) growing population. Over the past three years, the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) has addressed this need with an expansion of clinical services, including: • locally based urology services; • a new adolescent ward; • 24-hour availability of the cardiac catheter laboratory; • an expanded intensive care unit; • a dedicated stroke service; and • increased cancer care services. In 2019 the State Government announced an operating budget for CHHHS of $1 billion, plus $70 million to upgrade the Mental Health Unit, $2.8 million to build a second catheterisation laboratory and $4 million for a vascular surgery theatre. In coming years, the CHHHS is aiming to obtain Level 6 status in in a range of clinical areas including endoscopy, cardiac (coronary care unit), cardiac medicine, some medical and surgical specialties, perioperative (operating suite and post anaesthetic room) and anaesthetics, reducing the need to travel outside the region for medical treatment. Following these investments, the Cairns Hospital will be delivering its highest level of care to date. However, to cater for growing

demand and address the critical health challenges facing TNQ, there remains an urgent need to continue to increase surgical capacity (outpatients, pre-admission clinic and operating theatre time) and to recruit Cairnsbased clinicians to provide specialist services currently being delivered elsewhere. The CHHHS has recently completed a master planning process identifying infrastructure needs worth an estimated $500 million over the next 20 years and is now seeking $10 million to complete a detailed business case to map out this significant upgrade.

BACKGROUND In 2018-2019 there were 74,667 presentations to the Cairns Hospital emergency department, a 24% increase over the preceding five years, and 82,727 patients were admitted to the Hospital. Throughout 2019 the emergency department has faced unprecedented pressure, averaging 211 patients per day, a 4% increase on the previous year. Also 30% of emergency patients are tourists or people who live outside Cairns, in rural and remote areas including Cape York and Torres Strait. The Cairns Hospital supports an estimated resident population of 278,080 and regularly provides acute medical services for residents of the Cape and Torres region (population of 26,399). Combined with estimated population growth of 1.1% per annum, and an ageing population, it is estimated that by 2026 an additional 67,000 people will reside in the

*To be informed by various studies and business case to finalise requirements

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 68


OUR RECOMMENDATION constructed, through partnerships with educators, scientists, medical practitioners and technology firms, the $150 million REI Centre will ensure skilled health workers are attracted to, and remain in the region, building clinical capability to improve patient outcomes in the region.

catchment area with close to one in five residents being over 65. The Cairns Hospital also provides medical services for the three million tourists that visit the region annually. Demand for CHHHS services will therefore continue to increase, requiring continued investment in specialised training for the local health workforce, with current planning predicting an extra 80 inpatient beds are needed by 2028 and 223 by 2037. When combined with the expansion of University medical training facilities in the region, particularly by James Cook University (JCU), there is growing momentum to upgrade Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital. For example: •

To successfully transition Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital, an increase in Level 6 services is required over the next three years across specialties such as cardiac medicine, endoscopy and other medical and surgical specialties. Master planning by CHHHS has also identified the need for an estimated $500 million in infrastructure during the next 20 years with $10 million now needed for a detailed business case. In addition, to support the training and recruitment of Cairns-based clinicians, JCU requires an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and 30 international places recurrent for the JCU Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. This will allow JCU to offer years 1-6 of the MBBS in Cairns and Mackay. The additional places will be distributed across the regional centres of Cairns (30), Mackay (10) and Townsville (40).

T he CHHHS strategic plan includes a priority to build a Research, Education and Innovation (REI) Centre in Cairns that will provide state of the art research and education infrastructure for the region. Once

Additional funding is sought to facilitate the transition of Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital (Level 6 referral status).

That the State Government provides $10 million in 2019-2020 for a detailed business case to support implementation of the CHHHS master plan over the next 20 years.

That to support the training of a regional medical workforce, the Federal Government allocate an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places and 30 International places recurrent, together with an allocation of Destination Australia scholarships to JCU’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

airns Hospital is the first regional digital C hospital in Australia, which demonstrates its ability to manage the operational change required to progress to level 6 service delivery.

NEXT STEPS

ased within JCU’s Division of Tropical B Health and Medicine, JCU proposes to establish a Tropical Global Health Centre to produce research-enabled clinicians with extensive clinical training in population health and global public policy. The Centre will leverage investment in the Cairns University Hospital to provide students with globally relevant training and deliver a medical workforce specifically prepared to handle regional health challenges. Although initially focused on the medical workforce, the program will subsequently expand to include nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health and veterinary health professionals.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated additional recurrent funding

2019-2020

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

$10m

TBC*

TBC*

TBC*

-

$26.7m

$26.7m

$26.7m

State Investment Federal Investment (CSP)

*To be informed by various studies and business case to finalise requirements

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 69


HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Housing and Construction

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Housing and Construction: Ranjit Singh

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1.

Ranjit Singh, President UDIA FNQ & Partner Holding Redlich Lawyers 2. Donna-Maree O’Connor, CEO Access Community Housing Company 3. Ian Roberts, CEO Anglicare North Queensland 4. Sarah Mort, Director MiHaven Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

Housing and Construction issues to discuss: • • •

First Home Owners Grant and Stamp Duty Social Housing Crisis Accommodation Service Expansion

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 71


HOUSING

AND

CONSTRUCTION

Delegate Bios

RANJIT SINGH

PRESIDENT UDIA FNQ & PARTNER HOLDING REDLICH LAWYERS

Ranjit Singh is a born and bred Cairns Local. He has been a practising property and development lawyer for the last 17 years and has advised stakeholders in relation to a number of marquee projects in the region since that time. In recent years, Ranjit merged his boutique law firm with national commercial law firm Holding Redlich and is part of a team of 18 in the Cairns office. Ranjit is extremely passionate about providing employment opportunities for local law graduates to prevent the “brain drain” of talent away from the region. Ranjit is the President of the Far North Queensland Chapter of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). He is also a member of the Queensland Government’s recently announced Regional Forums.

DONNA-MAREE O’CONNOR

CEO ACCESS COMMUNITY HOUSING COMPANY Donna-Maree O’Connor is the CEO of Access Community Housing Company (ACHC), a Tier 2 registered housing provider with a portfolio of approximately 600 dwellings. ACHC is the largest Community Housing Company in North Queensland. This year will see the completion of the construction of the first unit development by the company. Hopefully, the first of many. Donna-Maree is the Chair of the Cairns Housing and Homelessness Network and a director on the board of Community Housing Industry Association Qld (CHIA). She has lived in Cairns for 22 years and been at ACHC for over 5 years. Over the past Donna-Maree has worked in a range of government departments, including the Department of Education, Training, DATSIP, Qld Health, Local Government and prior to coming to Cairns the Department of Justice and Attorney General, where she was responsible for establishing a state-wide Victim Support Service within the Prosecutions office. She has also worked in the area of Domestic and Family Violence and is passionate about the need for safe, affordable housing for all. Donna-Maree holds a Bachelor of Arts/Economics, a Diploma of Education, a Diploma of Management and a Masters of Gender Studies. She is committed to finding a dignified housing solution for the most vulnerable people in our community.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 72


HOUSING

AND

CONSTRUCTION

Delegate Bios

IAN ROBERTS

CEO ANGLICARE NORTH QUEENSLAND Ian Roberts has over 30 years experience, both commercial and not for profit, of the challenges and opportunities facing modern day not for profits. Through capacity building, Ian has developed community based services in some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised areas, delivering socially sustainable outcomes in these communities both in Australia and the UK. Over the last 8 years as Chief Executive of Anglicare North Queensland Ian has focussed on social and economic development in the North and Far North region. Ian is a strong advocate against Poverty and Homelessness, and in recent years acted as State Co-Chair Queensland for the National Anti-Poverty Week campaign in our region. Ian has engaged in urban regeneration programmes in the North of England supporting those marginalised through community master planning, developing social enterprises and neighbourhood renewal. Previous Senior Executive and Board roles have included Relationships Australia WA, Diocese of Norfolk and Diocese of Bradford and the National Trust.

SARAH MORT

DIRECTOR MIHAVEN Sarah Mort has over 30 years’ experience in the property development industry having worked with some of Australia and Asia’s leading property development and construction companies including Harilela’s Hotels (owners of the former W Hotel Sydney); Multiplex Constructions and the Kuok Group, Malaysia/Hong Kong. Sarah, with her husband James Mort, is currently Co-Owner and Director of MiHaven, specialising in construction and property development, MiHaven training (RTO 40928) and MiHaven Student Living (accommodation) based in Cairns. Her core business strengths and successes draw from her wide and diverse experiences and background. Sarah’s career spans 30 years in town planning and property development, having previously lived and worked in two major Australian capital cities (Melbourne and Sydney) working for large property based Asian companies (in Singapore; Malaysia and Hong Kong). This vast experience has allowed Sarah to utilise her many skills and talent in town planning; community consultation and project management. Sarah’s experience has been greatly enhanced by the diverse forms of business she has been involved in, including local government; environmental planning, property development and construction.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 73


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

FIRST HOMEOWNERS GRANT AND TRANSFER DUTY SUBSIDY BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

First home buyers account for 45% of new home purchases in Cairns – three times the ratio in south east Queensland.

To stimulate the regional property market and increase availability of private rental properties, a $5000 increase in the first home owners’ grant is needed for buyers of new build homes in Tropical North Queensland.

To increase demand for housing stock, encourage further supply and encourage investors to prioritise regional areas, stamp duty concessions are needed for purchasers of investment property in Tropical North Queensland.

THE ISSUE

BACKGROUND

The Cairns property market has seen a dramatic decline in the construction of new dwellings with building approvals currently running at 40% of the last 20-year average. On the apartment front, sales of new units have collapsed from a peak of 1039 in 2004 to just 26 in 2018-2019. With the significant lack of new residential housing and apartment developments, rents are escalating year-inyear-out in a stressed market with a vacancy rate of just 1.7%.

The first home owners’ grant is extremely important to the local home building markets in regional areas such as Cairns. Government data shows around 45% (222 homes) of the 522 house building approvals in Cairns in 2018-2019 were from first home owner grant applicants. This is a much higher ratio than south east Queensland, which sits at approximately 15% of house building approvals.

Added to ongoing concerns in the residential construction sector is the fact that three marquee hotel projects have now been completed, meaning there is limited demand for local builders and tradespeople. At just under 11% of total workforce in the region, the building and construction sector is the second largest in job creator in the TNQ region behind health and allied industries.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Incentives such as the first home owners’ grant are a proven initiative to assist Queenslanders enter into the property market. When a $20,000 grant existed previously, Queensland first-home buyer loan approvals soared by nearly 20% during the first 12 months of the grant, making the sunshine state Australia’s first-home buyer capital in 2017. The first home owners’ grant has a proven ability to stimulate the marketplace by shortening the time that it takes to save for a deposit and/or enable home buyers to increase their deposit, consequently increasing their P 74


borrowing capacity. A range of grants have been offered at different times, both at state and federal levels generally to stimulate construction and/or home ownership.

These measures will assist the housing and construction sector in regional Queensland by: •

Owner-occupiers currently get a stamp duty concession from the Queensland Government (typically around $7000) when they buy a new home in which to live. Extending this concession to investors who buy in regional Queensland only would stimulate significant activity and encourage further supply of stock to come into the marketplace for rental purposes.

attracting first home buyers into the TNQ property market;

i ncreasing the availability of rental properties and addressing the shortage of rental properties in TNQ by transitioning long term renters into home owners; and

i ncentivising the construction of new housing, which will create work for the many local contractors, sub-contractors, tradespeople and suppliers who rely on the building industry.

NEXT STEPS

It is recommended the above incentives be provided for an initial period of 12 months, which will bring forward demand by stimulating the first-home buyer market and creating urgency in the investor marketplace.

To stimulate the regional property market, two State Government initiatives are needed: 1.

a n increase in the first home owners grant from $15,000 to $20,000 for first home buyers of new homes in TNQ; and

2.

a pply the owner-occupier rate of stamp duty to investment property purchased in regional Queensland.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That in 2020-2021 the State Government increase the first home owners’ grant from $15,000 to $20,000 for buyers of new homes in TNQ.

That stamp duty rates on investment property purchases in TNQ in 2020-21 be charged at the owner occupier concessional rates for the next 12 months.

Sources: 1. Herron Todd White Cairns Property Watch, November 2019 2. Queensland First Home Owner Grant data by Statistical Area 2018-19 3. Domain News 4. Queensland Productivity report

P 75


SOCIAL

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

SOCIAL HOUSING BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Low income earners are facing two significant barriers in Cairns when it comes to securing housing: (1) affordability; and (2) availability.

Demand for social housing far exceeds supply, with more than 2000 people on the waiting list.

The problem has been exacerbated recently with allocations from the waiting list put on hold because of a significant number of people displaced from Aurukun needing crisis accommodation.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s most recent data identified Cairns as having more than 3975 people homeless or at severe risk of homelessness.

There is a pressing need to grow the stock of affordable and community housing in Cairns, which has stressed rental market conditions caused by low levels of housing construction and continued population growth.

THE ISSUE There are two major issues facing low income earners in Cairns: (1) affordability; and (2) availability of housing. The demand for social housing currently exceeds supply and this mismatch is impacting on the entire housing and homelessness sector in Cairns. As at September 2019, the current Register of Need (waiting list managed by the Department of Housing and Public Works) for social housing in Cairns was at 2017 applicants, which comes after five years of continuous growth. Adding to the pressure, allocations from the waiting list have recently been put on hold due to a significant number of displaced people coming from Aurukun needing crisis accommodation. There is also broad agreement within the housing and homelessness sector that the complexity of clients has increased with high levels of mental health problems, alcohol and drug dependency, domestic and family violence, criminal histories and extreme poverty. Since the global financial crisis, Cairns has seen the demise of many key building companies and a slump in residential construction with current building approvals at 40% of the 20-year average. This comes

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

despite residential rental vacancy rates bordering on stressed at 1.7%. The demand for social housing is set to rise further in 2020 given the unemployment rate in Cairns has risen markedly in recent months to be above the state average at 6.2%.

BACKGROUND Local real estate agents are reporting far more demand for rental properties than properties available and are reporting an increase in rents. Many Centrelink recipients, large families, Indigenous people and people with no or a poor rental history are excluded from renting because of this shortage and the increasing rents. Growth in construction in Cairns has been predominately in the tourism sector and only in the last 1-2 years. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s most recent data identified Cairns as having more than 3975 people homeless or at severe risk of homelessness. Domestic and family violence figures have increased and are one of the highest rates in the state. The 2016 census data identified 1334 people with no place to call home and another 2811 living in caravans, tents or sleeping out.

P 76


OUR RECOMMENDATION While First Nations people account for 2.8% of the Australian population, they make up 10% of the population of Cairns and they are overrepresented in social housing and homeless figures. Community Housing clients reflect this with 68% identifying as having Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

as Community Housing providers and the not-for-profit sector to undertake affordable housing developments; •

NEXT STEPS We acknowledge the State Government’s Partnering for Growth and Partnering for Impact initiatives that aim to stimulate housing growth across the state and support people living in social housing. One of the benefits for tenants of community housing and for people on low-to-moderate incomes is their access to Commonwealth Rent Assistance. However, there is a need to grow the stock of affordable and community housing in Cairns to respond to the increasing need. Community Housing in Cairns represents only around 600 properties under management, meaning there are very low levels of affordable housing for residents at risk of homelessness. To achieve a well-functioning housing market in Cairns, significant housing development needs to occur. This could occur via: •

t he State Government releasing land at no cost or below market value to the building and development sector, as well

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

tate Government equity investment in S delivering feasible projects that will create developments, employment and increases in affordable and accessible housing projects. This could be a voluntary incentive model where new affordable housing is encouraged by reducing costs for developers; t he introduction of ‘gap funding’ to cover operational losses when Community Housing providers borrow private finance to build affordable and social housing. This would equate to the revenue gap between the cost of finance and building and the revenue return from sub-market rents; and the State Government subsidising or incentivising companies to deliver projects that will result in new construction, generate employment, and increase the affordable and accessible housing stock in Cairns. This could be done by reducing costs or reforming tax incentives, providing funding to support the financial and social sustainability of Community housing and/ or increasing the Community Rent Scheme quotas to close the gap between market rent and affordable rent.

That the State Government stimulate growth of affordable housing in TNQ through the following: •

releasing land at no cost or below market value to the building & development sector and Community Housing providers to undertake affordable housing developments; and

subsidising or incentivising companies to deliver projects that will result in new construction, generate employment, and increase the affordable and accessible housing stock in Cairns.

P 77


SOCIAL

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT

CRISIS ACCOMMODATION SERVICE EXPANSION BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Cairns has long battled the issue of homelessness, but the complexities have recently become vastly accentuated by public intoxication and substance misuse.

Concerns around antisocial behaviour led to the creation of an industry-led Project Control Group (PCG) that aims to identify service gaps and provide strategic direction to the Cairns Homelessness and Public Intoxication Taskforce.

While Cairns has an effective rough sleeping case management framework in place, the PCG identified that the Quigley Street Night Shelter and Lyons Street Diversionary Centre (both frontline response facilities) require significant infrastructure upgrades and greater case management resources.

THE ISSUE Cairns has long wrestled with the issue of homelessness in the community. However, the complexities of primary homelessness in Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) have recently become accentuated in relation to public intoxication and substance misuse. Over the last 10 years there have been a number of targeted responses to homelessness in Cairns, leading to a significant reduction in rough sleeping in the Cairns CBD and surrounds. But the increasing public intoxication problem is causing considerable disruption to business and the public more broadly. In 2017, the growing concerns around antisocial behaviour associated with rough sleepers and public intoxication led to the creation of a senior level Project Control Group (PCG) which aims to address the following priorities: 1.

reduction of people causing issues in the Cairns CBD and surrounds; and

2.

service gap identification and elevation.

The PCG provides strategic direction to the Cairns Homelessness and Public Intoxication Taskforce which was established in 2007. Its membership includes all the key agencies

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

working together to improve services to people who are homeless and or intoxicated in public in the Cairns CBD and surrounds. An options paper titled “Public Space Issues in Cairns” has been provided by the PCG outlining key proposals in addressing rough sleeping.

BACKGROUND Quigley Street is a 40-bed crisis accommodation service for men and women living rough, usually itinerant and lacking the basic physical and emotional resources to sustain housing. Quigley Street has been operational since 1999 and the service model lends itself to group accommodation. The current building structure of Quigley Street is dormitory style and is an outdated model that does not meet the individual needs of clients; nor does it allow clients appropriate dignity, confidentiality and rights due to being open rooms with little privacy. The Cairns Diversionary Centre is a 36-bed sobering-up facility for intoxicated individuals who are at risk of being a danger to themselves or others, are causing a public nuisance, or who would otherwise be detained at the Cairns watch house. The diversionary centre has

P 78


been operational since 1995 and recent calls to extend the number of beds at the centre reflect the impact that chronic intoxicated itinerants have on the Cairns CBD, leading to the need for greater resourcing to facilitate intensive case management at the centre. Both the night shelter and diversionary centre provide immediate accommodation support but neither are funded for ongoing case management support. Due to the crisis nature of these clients and a lifestyle of living rough, many individuals present without relevant identification, experiencing significant grief and loss (including dislocation of culture) and subsequent mental and physical health issues, as well as often chronic substance misuse problems. These clients are often difficult to house anywhere else and without intensive case management support, will continue to cycle through emergency accommodation services and fail to demonstrate any significant lifestyle change.

NEXT STEPS

The Quigley Street Night Shelter and Lyons Street Diversionary Centre are both frontline response facilities for public space intoxicated itinerants and chronic rough sleeper issues in Cairns, and both centres require significant infrastructure upgrades and resources for intensive case management. A number of solutions are therefore recommended for action: 1.

e xpand the bed capacity of the Cairns Diversionary Centre to reduce the number of intoxicated persons sleeping in public places or at the Police watch house. The expansion will also reduce the involvement of rough sleepers in antisocial or unsafe behaviours.

2.

i nvest in unit style accommodation to replace dormitory accommodation at the Quigley Street Night Shelter, enhancing dignity and enabling the development of individual living skills; and

3.

i mplement intensive case management support for both centres, which will aid in reducing the cyclic nature of residents moving through the facilities.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That the State Government support the work of the Cairns Homelessness and Public Intoxication Taskforce by: (1) investing $3 million in expanded bed capacity at the Cairns Diversionary Centre; and (2) replacing current dormitory-style accommodation at Quigley Street Night Shelter with units.

Acknowledging that Cairns has an effective rough sleeping case management framework in place, various elements of the service system need support to enhance integrity.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 79


REEF


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Reef

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Reef: Sheriden Morris

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1.

Sheriden Morris, Managing Director Reef & Rainforest Research Centre & Chair Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) 2. Mike Barry, CEO MSF Sugar 3. Stewart Christie, CEO Terrain NRM Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

Reef issues to discuss: •

Reef Regulations

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 81


REEF Delegate Bios

SHERIDEN MORRIS

MANAGING DIRECTOR REEF & RAINFOREST RESEARCH CENTRE & CHAIR CRC FOR DEVELOPING NORTHERN AUSTRALIA Sheriden Morris has always strongly believed in intelligent, sustainable development using the region’s tropical expertise – the knowledge of living, building and working most effectively in the tropics. Since 2006 she has been the Managing Director of the Cairns-based not-for-profit company Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC). Under her leadership, the RRRC has successfully attracted more than $240 million in grants and investment to support environmental research and development projects in northern Australia. Sheriden is currently Chair of the CRC for Developing Northern Australia and is Deputy Chair of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. An extensive contributor to land and sea management policy, she has also spearheaded the development and implementation of an innovative aid development programme on Australia’s northern borderlands with Papua New Guinea. She lives on the family farm at Babinda, just south of Cairns.

MIKE BARRY

CEO MSF SUGAR

Mike was appointed to the position of CEO in February 2008. Before he joined MSF Sugar, Mike was previously managing director of the private equity-owned Hudson Building Supplies, one of Australia’s largest building supply companies. For the ten years prior to holding that position, Mr Barry held a number of senior management roles within Boral Limited, the most recent being Regional General Manager for Boral’s Construction Materials business in Western Australia and South Australia, where he had responsibility for the company’s concrete, quarries, transport, pre-cast concrete, asphalt and mining activities in those regions.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 82


REEF Delegate Bios

STEWART CHRISTIE CEO TERRAIN NRM

Stewart is the CEO of Terrain NRM, an independent, not-for-profit community-based environmental management organisation that has been operating throughout Tropical North Queensland since 2003. Terrain NRM has 40 staff and initiates collaborative, innovative and forward-looking solutions to the important natural resource management and economic challenges facing our region. Stewart has extensive experience in economic development, the planning and delivery of large infrastructure projects and leading for-profit and not for profit organisations that create a positive triple bottom-line impact for our region.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 83


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

REEF REGULATIONS BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Polluted water is one of the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef. There has been significant investment by State and Federal governments since 2008 to reduce this threat.

Progress is being made towards water quality improvement targets however modelling concludes that these approaches will be insufficient to meet the targets.

The next wave of innovative solutions that addresses these challenges is needed. New approaches are being trialled in the Tully, Johnstone, Russell/Mulgrave and the Bowen, Broken and Bogie (BBB) River (Burdekin region) catchments.

To maintain this momentum, capitalise on current interest and further expand the rollout of promising practices, further support and investment is required.

THE ISSUE Since 2008, targeted investment by the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments in various programs has reduced the nitrogen, sediment and pesticides entering waterways that flow into the Great Barrier Reef. This investment has been focussed on providing support to individual landholders, considering each farm separately, and establishing water quality monitoring at the end of catchments. The Queensland Government Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was recently introduced to set a minimum standard to reduce the amount of nutrients, pesticides and sediment entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. The Act was implemented to regulate a minimum industry standard and encourage landholders that have not yet adopted Best Management Practices (BMP) to move toward BMP standards. Many commercial growers have already adopted industry BMP and believe that they are doing everything they can to improve water quality without impacting the financial viability of their businesses. However, while many landholders have adopted the straightforward practice changes that have a clear business and water quality improvement benefit, the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

found that even if 100% of farmers adopted currently accepted best management practices, it would be unlikely that water quality targets would be met. Trialling new approaches to complement best management practices is recommended by the taskforce. Recently, many sugarcane and banana growers have questionned the science that underpins the legislation, particularly the end-of-catchment water quality modelling that attributes pollution loads to individual catchments and the agricultural sector.

BACKGROUND To continue to improve water quality and simultaneously support landholder’s increased profitability, innovative approaches are needed. Key organisations in the region are working on new ways of increasing the uptake of voluntary adoption of best management practices. The focus is on working collaboratively with farmers to fully understand the local water quality issues, and in partnership with scientists and technicians, support farmers themselves to be the drivers of innovative, transformative solutions. With this new approach, trust and confidence is being built between landholders, community and scientists to collaboratively address the more complex and integrated challenges. P 84


OUR RECOMMENDATION The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) has developed a project with leading commercial farmers that will result in assurances that water quality measurements are accurate and targeted. The project has now developed beyond its original intention into a grower-driven, strategically-placed, real-time monitoring system which, most importantly, has the input from the landholder as well as the scientific skill and mentoring of the researchers. Growers within the project have been analysing the results for several years and identifying water quality hotspots within their sub-catchment. Results have identified areas where farmers need to do more to manage and improve water quality leaving their farms. Results have also identified local water quality issues previously attributed to canefarmers that appear more related to other land uses and their impacts on local water quality. Properly attributing water quality issues to the correct cause with local, evidence-based research, provides growers with the information needed to address the correct challenges. Another example of innovation is the Terrain NRM Major Integrated Project (MIP), supported by $15 million of funding through the Office of the Great Barrier Reef, which involves 215 farmers in the Tully and Johnstone River catchments. The focus and benefits of the project are: •

trialling new cost-effective water treatment and catchment repair systems such as bioreactors, wetlands and high-efficiency sediment basins that are removing high amounts of nitrogen and sedminent;

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

roviding water quality monitoring and p data at farms rather than at the end of catchment, which is reducing costs, improving profitability and water quality and re-building confidence in science;

s upporting uptake of promising new farm practices and creating peer-to-peer and cross-industry learning/support; and

eveloping an innovative, market-based d solution (Reef Credits) that de-risks and provides an income stream for landholders to make and sustain changes that improve water quality and is being proven through 21 pilot projects.

NEXT STEPS There are hundreds of kilometres of drains throughout the agricultural areas of the Wet Tropics that have the potential to be cost effectively repurposed to remove nutrients. Targeted real-time monitoring and the adoption of new technologies has highlighted points of potential intervention in the pollution cycle. The NESP project learnings need increased resourcing to encourage wider adoption of changed farming practices while the MIP should be further expanded. In addition, the program should include analysis of flood plume characteristics of individual catchments, which may eventually lead to catchment based onground practices.

To enable the Queensland Government, landholders and communities to be able to demonstrate and fully realise the impact of current investments for existing and other catchments, it is recommended that: •

$5 million be allocated towards expanding the NESP program and extension resources to encourage onfarm adoption of key learnings;

$15 million be allocated to extend the Wet Tropics MIP to June 2025; and

in collaboration with the Office of the Great Barrier Reef, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Terrain NRM and NESP researchers, a pilot program be developed to trial the re-purposing of sections of the drainage network in the Wet Tropics.

Supporting these approaches deployed on the ground will accelerate the rate of water quality improvement, and support improved productivity and profitability of landholders will increase.

P 85


A CANE FARMER INSPECTS THE WATERWAYS ALONGSIDE HIS PROPERTY.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 86


SMALL TO MEDIUM ENTERPRISES


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s)

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s): Sean Adams

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Sean Adams, Director CSF Industries & Director Advance Cairns Patricia O’Neill, CEO Cairns Chamber of Commerce Elisha-Vi Raso, Managing Partner – FNQ Regional & Agribusiness Queensland NAB Andy Reeves, General Manager The Cairns Post (News Corp) Shaun Donaldson, Director Halpin Partners

Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) issues to discuss: • • • •

Rising Input Costs Payroll Tax Skilled Labour Best Practices Principle Policy

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 88


SMALL

TO

MEDIUM

ENTERPRISES

(SME’S)

Delegate Bios

SEAN ADAMS

DIRECTOR CSF INDUSTRIES & DIRECTOR ADVANCE CAIRNS With over 20 years experience working within the construction industry, Sean Adams has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for all facets of business. As a hands-on director, he is dedicated to his staff, improving efficiencies and providing cost effective supply solutions to his clients. Having graduated from The University of Queensland with an honours degree in Structural Engineering, he has worked as a design engineer with international firms located in both Australia and the UK. Joining CSF Industries in late 2003, Sean became managing director in 2009. Under his leadership, CSF Industries has diversified and Sean now oversees three separate business units: CSF Steel Fabricators, CSF Roofing and Thomas Steel Fabrications which is based in Townsville. In 2014, he launched a start-up transport company, Intrans Logistics, where he remains the Managing Director. Born and raised in Cairns, Sean believes in the opportunities our region has to offer for current and future generations.

PATRICIA O’NEILL

CEO CAIRNS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Well known to the Cairns business community, Patricia O’Neill has a strong commitment to, and belief in, local business. Currently leading the Cairns Chamber of Commerce as CEO, Patricia previously worked in the media industry in Cairns for the last 13 years. During this time she worked closely with both the business and corporate sector in building strategies to ensure the long term sustainability of the Cairns region.

In 2014 alongside others stakeholders such as Cairns Regional Council and Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Patricia was part of the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) working committee. ATE is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event which was hosted in Cairns in 2014. The committee was successful in delivering a seamless event, which showcased the Cairns region to a large number of people from all over the world. Patricia is an enormous advocate for small business, and strongly believes that it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to support the growth and prosperity of the Cairns Business Community. Although a passionate Scot by birth, Cairns is home for Patricia, and she confidently feels there is no place quite like Cairns.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 89


SMALL

TO

MEDIUM

ENTERPRISES

(SME’S)

Delegate Bios

ELISHA-VI RASO

MANAGING PARTNER – FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND REGIONAL & AGRIBUSINESS QUEENSLAND , NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED A Far North Queensland local with over 18 years banking and finance experience, Elisha stared her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Cairns before moving into a career in Banking. Elisha has spent the past 16 years developing skills across Retail and Small Business Banking, Corporate, Commercial and Agribusiness Banking sectors throughout Regional and South East Queensland. She sits on the UDIA Cairns Board as an Executive Member, is a member of the Advance Cairns Advisory Council and is especially passionate about mentoring young professionals looking to build a career in the finance sector.

ANDY REEVES

GENERAL MANAGER THE CAIRNS POST (NEWS LTD) Andy has spent the last 25 years working with and alongside small business owners, understanding their challenges and working with them to grow and solidify their businesses. He has well rounded experience across newspapers and B2B publishing, sales and sales management, digital marketing, franchise development and asset finance. As the General Manager of the Cairns Post, Tablelander, Port Douglas Gazette and Innisfail Advocate newspapers he meets and speaks with Far North Queensland business owners across every conceivable cross section of industry on a daily basis. In his time outside of work he plays and manages a football team, enjoys camping in the beautiful Far North and spends time with his growing family.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 90


SMALL

TO

MEDIUM

ENTERPRISES

(SME’S)

Delegate Bios

SHAUN DONALDSON DIRECTOR HALPIN PARTNERS

With over 16 years of experience providing specialist tax and advisory services to businesses across the property, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and tourism sectors, Shaun is now pursuing his passion for proactively assisting businesses to become more productive and more profitable. A big picture thinker and with experience working with small to medium-sized business seeking to expand operations, optimise productivity and profitability, or to address tax or operational issues, Shaun has the knowledge and skills required to identify new opportunities and to fix emergent, business-threatening problems. Servicing businesses in Cairns and throughout North Queensland from Mt Isa and Townsville and north to the Cape, Shaun enjoys tackling the issues that other accountants are not trained or experienced in handling, so that he can assist clients to develop solutions and strengthen their businesses into the future.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 91


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

BUSINESS GROWTH FACTORS BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has not seen any significant economic growth in small and medium businesses since the years preceding the Global Financial Crisis.

The Queensland Government has announced that the Buy Queensland Best Practices Policy will apply to the Cairns Convention Centre expansion, leading to concerns over escalating payroll costs.

With the current economic conditions, it is difficult to encourage private sector investment and skilled labour to the region. To stimulate economic growth and the regional economy overall, there is a need to: (1) attract and retain skilled labour; (2) address rising cost pressures; and (3) further amend payroll tax in terms of the grouping provisions.

THE ISSUE Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has not seen any significant economic growth in small and medium businesses since before the Global Financial Crisis. While many opportunities exist within the region, continuing economic challenges have depleted human and business capital, making it difficult for local business to take advantage of these opportunities. Despite the recently-completed construction of significant tourism accommodation in the Cairns CBD, the local economy has not improved in its level of confidence and retail spending continues to decline. In many sectors the TNQ economy is worse now than at any time in the past 10 years. This has placed many small businesses and medium enterprises (SMEs) in overtly stressed financial situations. Over the past decade there have been very few good news stories regarding living or working in the north of the state with media focussed on the negatives – namely weather events such as flooding, cyclones and extreme heat, crime and unemployment. With the current flat or declining economic conditions, it is difficult to encourage private sector investment and skilled labour to the region. To stimulate economic growth within the SME sector and the regional economy overall, initiatives are required which: 1.

attract and retain skilled labour to the region to help grow regional capacity and population;

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

2.

address rising cost pressures which make it more difficult to do business in TNQ; and

3.

further amend payroll tax.

SKILLED LABOUR IMPEDIMENT

Regional centres have a limited pool of skilled labour to draw from to help drive growth. As a result, it is often necessary to either train apprentices, bring in qualified workers on a visa, or attempt to create an environment that is enticing to people from out of state to move here. Employers in TNQ consistently find that: 1.

t here are not enough organisations employing apprentices to increase our skill base. This is largely caused by costs and low productivity involved in apprenticeship training;

2.

eople are reluctant to move to TNQ due p to negative perceptions of living in regional areas; and

3.

t he cost of attracting skilled labour through visa programs is often prohibitive. For example, a $7300 training fee paid in advance for each 4-year visa is required per employee. While part of this fee goes to the Skilling Australia Fund, Queensland is not a partner and therefore our employers cannot benefit from it.

Combined, these issues contribute to a lack of skills in the region which holds back economic growth, meaning local businesses cannot take P 92


advantage of growth opportunities. Attracting and retaining more skilled people to the region will prime the economy, improve the building and housing markets and ultimately create more business, education, training and advancement opportunities for those already in the region.

“Rising input costs are ultimately passed onto customers, meaning many regional businesses are not able to remain competitive against businesses in metro markets”.

A workable solution exists to address each of these issues, improving the building and housing markets and ultimately creating more business, education, training and advancement opportunities for TNQ. These are outlined below. RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS Attracting and retaining skilled labour 1.

ffer job seekers tangible incentives to o move to TNQ: •

increase the first QLD home owners grant from $15,000 to $20,000 for new build homes;

i ntroduce stamp duty exemptions to encourage skilled labour to move permanently to the region including the following: •

deferring stamp duty for five years for residents who move to regional areas for work and purchase a home;

r emoving stamp duty on motor vehicle purchases in the first 2 years;

r emoving stamp duty on home and contents insurance in the first 2 years.

2.

undertake a coordinated advertising campaign that targets skilled workers to move to QLD - focus on young families struggling with cost of living and other pressures in southern capitals.

3.

rovide incentives to both new and p existing regionally-based businesses to encourage business to start-up or relocate to regional QLD (where a workforce of 100+ is relocated either to one area or assigned between regional towns and cities).

4.

locate or relocate State Government employees to service centres in TNQ.

Boosting apprenticeships While apprenticeship incentives are already in place they do not cover the costs incurred by a regional business. Apprentices require significant training and supervision resulting in a loss of productive labour for a business. To boost apprentice numbers in TNQ we recommend that existing apprenticeship incentives, including payroll tax exemptions, be increased to 100% for regional employers. Apprentices trained in the region are more likely to stay in TNQ boosting the long-term skilled labour force.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Attracting skilled visa workers Work with the Commonwealth to reduce the charges applicable to regional SME employers who access skilled labour through visa schemes.

RISING INPUT COSTS IMPEDIMENT

Business insurance premiums have skyrocketed in recent years. For one of the delegation members premiums have risen 52% since 2016 and for another, by 177% in the same period. The 177% was a reprieve as the company changed insurer, with the original insurer quoting an increase of 300%. In addition, the Ergon Energy small and large business tariff 22 has risen by 34% since 2013 and many small business owners have experienced increases in excess of this. These cost increases are ultimately passed on to customers meaning many TNQ businesses are not able to remain competitive against businesses in metro markets. RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS Insurance costs •

i mplement an annual declaration by insurers regarding their policy underwriting calculation, by component, for both residential and business policies. This would be similar to the CTP process already in place where insurers would provide a body (similar to the Motor Accident Insurance Commission) an explanation of how they have costed the policies on offer for each region of the state.

Electricity costs •

r emove Ergon Energy’s “no return policy” currently in place for companies using greater than 100 Megawatt hours of electricity per year;

e nable residential customers and small business customers the ability to move retail providers in regional areas;

s ell excess power generated by business solar panels to the grid on weekends;

ork with the Commonwealth to simplify w the carbon credit claim system for large scale generators; and

s implify the administrative process for large scale generators not in the business of power generation at the level of a commercial power station.

P 93


PAYROLL TAX IMPEDIMENT

While changes in payroll tax were made in the 2019 Queensland State budget there is still a need to review both the rate and the overall structure of this tax. RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS Amend grouping rules

QUEENSLAND PROCUREMENT POLICY IMPEDIMENT

While only designed for projects over $100 million, the Best Practices Principles (BPP) procurement policy proposed for the Cairns Convention Centre upgrade will negatively impact subcontractors and suppliers on large construction projects in regional Queensland.

The payroll tax grouping rule currently applies to start-up businesses and small otherwise independent businesses, which eliminates entrepreneurism and diversity in business. Payroll tax should not apply to a business that produces a materially different product or service and that operates independently to the associated business that causes a grouping.

The BPP will lead to much higher wage costs for Government projects, causing disparity in the local workforce, and making local businesses reluctant to tender for the work. As a result, project managers will find it cost effective to source workers from outside the region.

The rules are counter intuitive as:

With the Queensland Government announcing the BPP will apply for the Cairns Convention Centre project, there is growing concern in the region relating to this project.

1.

s tart-ups associated with larger enterprises cannot afford this overhead.

2.

s mall independent businesses caught by grouping rules cannot afford this overhead.

The following grouping provisions should therefore be removed: •

s ame person, or persons controlling 2 or more businesses;

a n entity has a tracing interest in corporations (indirect interests);

a person is part of 2 or more groups.

Reduce location-based payroll tax by 1% •

T o encourage businesses to move to north and far north Queensland, make businesses within the defined northern Australia area eligible for a flatline reduction of 1% on payroll tax regardless of business size. If a business workforce covers multiple regions, then identify the taxable wages within the eligible locations and apply the discount to those taxable wages.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That in 2020-2021 the Queensland Government invest in attracting and retaining skilled labour to regional areas through a combination of tangible incentives, coordinated advertising campaigns and the relocation of Government workers to regional Queensland.

That in 2020-2021 the Queensland Government boost apprentice numbers by increasing payroll tax exemptions to 100% for regional employers.

That the Queensland Government work to reduce small business input costs by increasing the transparency of insurance costs, facilitating competition in the regional electricity market, and working with the Commonwealth to simplify the carbon credit claim system for large scale generators.

That the Queensland Government revisit the BPP for the Cairns Convention Centre upgrade to accommodate TNQ hot weather working conditions and the payment of existing salaries as approved by Fair Work Australia.

The BPP also involves a hot weather policy which is unworkable in TNQ.

First, the BPP will lead to inflated unionspecified wages, causing disparity across every contractor’s workforce. Increases ranging up to 200% will occur in some instances for staff working on the project compared to their colleagues on another site. The impact of these issues has already been felt through the recent Townsville Stadium construction where a crane operator on an existing rate of $40-$43 per hour moved to $83-$88 per hour. This significant payroll expense is not economically sustainable for local employers nor will they be competitive on future projects. Second, the implementation of the BPP hot weather policy as applied to the Queen’s Wharf project in Brisbane is not a viable proposition for TNQ. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, over the 12 months to October 2019 the policy’s humidity level of 75% was exceeded on 117 days and the temperature level of 28 degrees was exceeded on 295 days. The implementation of this policy on a project in TNQ is therefore not practical. North Queensland based employees are acclimatised to working in tropical environments and workplace health and safety measures are taken to ensure staff safety. RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

the BPP in its current form should not apply to projects undertaken in TNQ;

age rates already passed by Fair Work w Australia should be retained as per each company’s existing industrial agreement, irrespective of the project their employees are deployed to; and

ot weather working conditions should h be governed by the requirements of the existing approved WorkCover codes of practice.

P 94


THE CAIRNS CONVENTION CENTRE IS UNDERGOING A $176M UPGRADE IN 2020 PHOTO CREDIT: CAIRNS CONVENTION CENTRE

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 95


TOURISM AND AVIATION


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Tourism and Aviation

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Tourism and Aviation: Mark Olsen

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4.

Mark Olsen, CEO Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) John O’Sullivan, CEO & Executive Director ExperienceCo Norris Carter, CEO North Queensland Airports James Dixon, General Manager AAT Kings & Managing Director Down Under Tours Australia

Attached are bios on each delegate.

DELEGATE ISSUES

Tourism and Aviation issues to discuss: • • •

Destination Marketing Cairns Aviation Route Development Cairns Aviation Excellence Precinct

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 97


TOURISM

AND

AVIATION

Delegate Bios

MARK OLSEN

CEO TOURISM TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND (TTNQ) Mark joined Tourism Tropical North Queensland in September 2019 as CEO after 25 years in the tourism and hospitality industry. From route development and hotel feasibility studies to national and international strategy development, Mark has worked in over 70 countries with a focus on sustainable tourism, experience development, destination strategy including aviation and access, commercial operations and feasibility and consumer marketing.

JOHN O’SULLIVAN

CEO & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EXPERIENCE CO John has over 25 years’ experience in the tourism and related industries sector, having held senior executive roles with Football Federation Australia (Chief Commercial Officer), Events Queensland (Chief Executive Officer), Fox Sports (Chief Operating Officer). For the last 5 years he was Managing Director of Tourism Australia where he managed a team of more than 200 staff in 13 locations, including China, London and Germany, and led the restructure of teams and people to improve performance and to place increased investment where required to achieve the best results. John has extensive leadership capabilities and experience in sales and marketing, event management and digital technology on a local and global stage. He holds an Executive MBA and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 98


TOURISM

AND

AVIATION

Delegate Bios

NORRIS CARTER

CEO NORTH QUEENSLAND AIRPORTS Norris Carter is CEO of North Queensland Airports, which operates Cairns and Mackay airports. He has extensive experience in aviation, including prior roles leading airline business development at Auckland Airport, and international network planning, revenue management and loyalty at Qantas.

He also is a Director of the Australian Airports Association, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and the Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair.

JAMES DIXON

GENERAL MANAGER AAT KINGS & MANAGING DIRECTOR DOWN UNDER TOURS AUSTRALIA With 30 years in business, James is Managing Director and co-founder of Down Under Tours Australia. He is also the General Manager of AAT Kings, who are Australia’s leading coach holiday company operating a modern fleet of 104 vehicles and employing 392 staff. James has extensive domestic and international insights and experience allowing him to improve and adapt to the constant change required to operate a successful tourism business. He is a board member and Deputy Chair for Tourism & Events Queensland and President of the Far North Queensland Tour Operators Association. James’ lengthy involvement and innovation in the tourism industry in Tropical North Queensland is showcased by his and his companies awards and achievements, at a local, state and national level.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 99


DESTINATION

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

DESTINATION MARKETING BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has lost 17% of its national market share of visitor expenditure over the past three years. This equates to $1.2 billion in lost visitor spend, which would have supported 4200 jobs. • Tourism and Events Queensland’s whole-ofstate marketing activities are slowing the loss of market share for the State, but an increased investment in destination marketing is needed to regain lost market share in specific destinations such as TNQ. • Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) requires an additional $10 million per annum in destination marketing funds. This could be funded through an additional destination marketing fund through the State Government, or through providing Councils with policy mechanisms that facilitate the introduction of a 2.5% levy on all overnight visitors in commercial accommodation.

THE ISSUE Over the past decade, the Queensland tourism industry has lost both domestic and international market share, with Victoria gaining the majority of the lost market. Recent whole-of-state marketing activities such as the Connecting with Asia program have started to slow the rate of these losses, however a greater effort is needed over the next five years to regain lost ground. Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) is one of the key destinations affected by this shift in national market share. From 2016 to 2019 TNQ lost 17% of its national market share, worth the equivalent of $1.2 billion over three years, which would have supported up to 4200 jobs in the visitor economy. Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) is the organisation responsible for bringing industry and government together under one destination brand and message to compete in the global marketplace. To be a successful in growing the contribution of the visitor economy to TNQ and the State, the destination needs a significant increase of marketing funds.

BACKGROUND TNQ stretches from Cardwell to the Torres Strait and west to the NT border and receives nearly three million domestic and international visitors annually, which equates to an estimated $3.3 billion in annual visitor spend. Two-thirds of the region’s visitor nights are domestic travellers, and one-third are international.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

The visitor economy, made up of holiday, visiting friends and relatives, business events, major events and education visitors, contributes over 17% of the regions Gross Regional Product (GRP), supporting one in five jobs directly and indirectly. Over the past decade the funds available for tourism marketing in the State have not kept pace with the increased level of competition both in Australia and globally, and the rising price of marketing efforts required to maintain the State’s ‘share of voice’. This has driven Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) to focus a significantly larger component of its funding to whole-of-state marketing and event activities. As a result, destinations like TNQ which have previously accessed dedicated destination marketing funds, have had to rely on whole-ofstate activities. The region and State’s main competitors (Sydney and surrounds, Tasmania, Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island and Ningaloo) are spending between $10 million and $19 million per annum in marketing their regions, which is vastly greater than TTNQ’s marketing budget of $4.5 million. These estimates exclude operating expenses and wages. To reach a comparable annual base funding the organisation needs to secure between $6 million and $13 million per annum of additional base marketing investment. In the past three years, TNQ has been supported by the Queensland Government through a number of funding programs that have boosted the region’s marketing efforts. This includes domestic marketing funds in the wake of the 2019 monsoon, and international marketing increases to support route P 100


development and to assist in the recovery of lost market share from negative perceptions of the Great Barrier Reef. ($3 million over three years).

example, in TNQ this could consist of: •

$2 million per annum for a Major and Business Events bid fund;

Without these one-off injections of additional funds, the region would have lost an even greater market share. For the region to regain lost ground and reposition TNQ as Australia’s number one international nature-based and ecotourism destination, ongoing increased investment is required. To augment whole-of-state marketing activities and introduce new funding into the TTNQ marketing effort, Cairns Regional Council (CRC) is considering the introduction of a visitor levy which would bring an estimated $16 million in additional base funding to the region. Residents and businesses in the CRC area are already the second highest per capita contributor to the visitor economy at $20.54 per resident (based on the $3.4 million contribution), behind the Gold Coast at $25.65 per resident (ASPIRE, 2018 and CRC, 2019). A visitor levy is therefore one of a range of options that would increase the pool of marketing funds available. The option of a State-wide visitor levy was rejected in 2018 and as such, there is no obvious vehicle at present for destinations like TNQ to significantly increase marketing efforts outside of one-off funding programs.

reallocation of $5 million per annum from TEQ to TTNQ from the current domestic and international marketing fund for the region;

$2 million per annum for an aviation marketing support fund to invest in route marketing (not route acquisition);

introduction of a ‘sharing economy’ accommodation policy which mandates a direct contribution from properties listed on AirBnB (and other platforms). The policy would apply to properties that are not registered accommodation providers and that are operating over 30 days. Contributions would be made directly to destination marketing either through Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) membership or through a room rate contribution per night (up to $1 million per annum in TNQ).

NEXT STEPS TTNQ has evaluated four potential funding options that would increase base funding for the region to the sustainable level of at least $12 million per annum ($10 million more than current base funding). 1.

2.

Increased base funding from the State Government for TEQ to provide regions with destination marketing campaign funds. For TTNQ this would require a minimum of $10 million in additional funds per annum. A reallocation of existing State funding and the introduction of a policy that supports increased contributions from AirBnB to generate an additional $10 million per annum for destination marketing. For

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

3.

Increased base funding from Cairns Regional Council from $2.4 million to $10.4 million through a business or general rates levy increase (the equivalent of $78 per resident, approximately double that of the Sunshine Coast to reach the same base funding).

4.

The introduction of a 2.5% levy on all overnight visitors in commercial accommodation, which would generate from $16 million per annum (Cairns region only) up to $22 million per annum (Cairns, Port Douglas and Cassowary Coast regional council areas).

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That through Tourism and Events Queensland, the Queensland Government increase TTNQ’s base destination funding to provide the region with a minimum of $10 million in additional funds per annum.

Alternatively, that through appropriate policy mechanisms, the Queensland Government facilitate the introduction of a 2.5% levy on all overnight visitors in commercial accommodation, providing the TNQ region an additional $16-$22 million per annum in destination marketing funds.

Of the four options evaluated, the only sustainable funding options for TNQ are to generate an additional $10 million per annum in base funding administered through TEQ for destination marketing, or the introduction of a 2.5% levy on overnight visitors in commercial accomodation across the region.

P 101


DESTINATION

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

CAIRNS AVIATION ROUTE DEVELOPMENT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • An international flight to Cairns is an estimated $200 million per annum export business. • There is unmet demand for at least four new daily flights, worth $800 million per annum in economic benefit. • A new route has start-up costs of around US$30 million. • The Attracting Tourism Fund introduced in 2018 has been highly successful in attracting investment to Queensland, however the fund is due to close on 31 December 2020. • To unlock supply links to the region, an ongoing State budget commitment of $50 million towards a statewide Attracting Tourism fund is required.

THE ISSUE

BACKGROUND

Air connectivity is key to the economic development of the Cairns region. It opens up new visitor markets, provides opportunities for the export of agricultural produce and promotes growth in the education sector.

Cairns Airport is the nation’s seventh busiest in terms of combined international and domestic passenger movements. It handles around 130,000 aircraft movements and over 5.2 million passenger movements per year. The airport is widely recognised as one of the most significant economic drivers in the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) region and its facilities are critical pieces of economic infrastructure.

A daily international wide-body flight to Cairns is potentially a $200 million a year export business, with $100 million of international visitor spend, $50-$150 million of agricultural produce sales, and the potential to deliver more than 650 new jobs for the region. There are additional flow-on benefits as other trade is enabled by new air routes. These benefits are widely dispersed across businesses in the region. Currently, more than 80% of international visitors through Cairns Airport travel on domestic flights, however the number of international visitors to Cairns is constrained by the available domestic capacity. The lack of direct international flights means there is a large under-served demand of international travellers who have a desire to visit Cairns but who choose not to due to domestic capacity constraints, inconvenient travel itineraries and the cost of flying via intermediate ports.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Across the airport precinct, Cairns Airport supports a skilled, permanent aviation and engineering workforce and plays a critical role in supporting national Defence and Border Force contracts, including search-and-rescue capabilities for AMSA and airborne surveillance activities. In addition, the precinct is home to the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre and CQUniversity’s Asia Pacific Aviation Hub, which together provide trade or degree-based career pathways for regional students. Tourism is a major contributor to the TNQ regional economy. An estimated 30% of all visitors to Cairns and surrounds arrive by air, making air travel vital to the agriculture, education and resource sectors. Cairns is also a hub to provide services to remote communities. A key constraint to growing the region’s tourism economy is limited access to direct international flights. Analysis by Tourism Research Australia P 102


OUR RECOMMENDATION for the year ended 30 June 2019 indicates international tourism visitation to TNQ reduced by 1.7% compared to the prior year. This contrasts with a 3% increase in international visitation at the national level over the same period. To address this worrying trend for the TNQ tourism sector, in addition to tourism product development and direct investment in destination marketing there is a need to increase direct international aviation routes. Additional capacity would unlock significant international visitor growth without reducing passengers on existing flights. To unlock this growth, Cairns Airport is targeting four new priority routes: one each from the Middle East and Southeast Asia (to serve Europe); one from China, and one from North America. Together, these four new air routes would provide $800 million per year in additional economic benefit to the Cairns economy. More international services direct to Cairns will create more capacity for domestic visitors and encourage international visitors to stay longer and spend more while in the region.

NEXT STEPS The contestable Attracting Tourism Fund introduced in 2018 by the Queensland Government has leveraged both private sector and other Government investment in key tourism infrastructure, demonstrating the success of the initiative. However, the Fund is due to close on 31 December 2020 and does not currently appear in the State budget forwards. The establishment of an ongoing and flexible $50 million state-wide Attracting Tourism Fund is therefore needed, with a dedicated focus on regional aviation and with funds able to be used for Tourism and Events Queensland marketing or other means of support. This will encourage greater dispersal of economic benefits across the State. Increased dispersal will encourage visitors to extend their average length of stay in Queensland, helping the State to regain lost market share in visitor nights while contributing to the establishment of new international aviation routes for Queensland, including the priority routes identified for Cairns.

That the Queensland Government establish an ongoing and flexible $50 million state-wide Attracting Tourism Fund to contribute to the establishment of new international aviation routes for Queensland, including the priority routes identified for Cairns. This request is in addition to ongoing destination marketing support in source markets via Tourism Australia, Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), and Tourism Tropical North Queensland, with the Fund able to be used for TEQ marketing or other means of support.

While the case for new international aviation routes into Cairns is compelling, temporary ‘start up’ funding packages are required to de-risk initial establishment for the airlines involved and secure these new routes in an extremely competitive international market.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $50 million (recurring) State Investment

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2023-2024

$50m

$50m

$50m

$50m

P 103


INDUSTRY

DEVELOPMENT

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

CAIRNS AVIATION EXCELLENCE PRECINCT BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

The Aviation Services industry will be worth $2.7 trillion in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region by 2038.

The APAC region is the single largest destination for commercial jet deliveries over the next 20 years, with the region expecting 40% of global deliveries (17,390 aircraft).

To meet the growing demand for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul services in the APAC region, Cairns Airport has developed the Cairns Aviation Excellence Precinct masterplan.

A Queensland Government investment of $20 million is sought to progress the masterplan, with Cairns Airport to invest $32 million towards the $52 million project.

THE ISSUE The Aviation Services industry will be worth $2.7 trillion in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region by 2038. The APAC region is the single largest destination for commercial jet deliveries over the next 20 years, with the region expecting 40% of global deliveries or 17,390 aircraft. Existing traditional Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) destinations such as Singapore are already operating at or near capacity and airlines are already experiencing difficulty in securing MRO services for their aircraft in these destinations. In addition, the availability of the highly skilled people required is already constrained. Cairns is perfectly positioned to capture a share of this growing market. The city is geographically located in the centre of the APAC region, has a pipeline of highly skilled people, an existing reputation for excellence, and a geopolitically stable jurisdiction for aviation services operators. To meet the growing demand for MRO services, Cairns Airport has developed the Cairns Aviation Excellence Precinct (CAEP) masterplan. This will see the redevelopment of the existing General Aviation precinct adjacent to the Captain Cook highway.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

The land is at approximately 1AHD (Australian Height Datum). In practical terms, this means the aviation precinct is in a wetlands area and subject to frequent flooding. The land needs to be raised to approximately 2.65AHD before any construction of the 534,673m² of groundworks, aprons and roads can take place. This is a significant cost for Cairns Airport to overcome while also retaining competitiveness in attracting new business. Partial Government funding is therefore required to make this catalytic regional development viable.

BACKGROUND The CAEP will ultimately deliver at least 28 new business locations. These are a combination of different size hangars for MRO, as well as other industry operators in avionics, training, research and development and advanced manufacturing. More than 1200 high value jobs will be created in the precinct, contributing a minimum of $105 million into the local regional economy each year. This will support sustainable population growth, sustainable aviation route development, growth in the education research sector, tourism growth and advanced manufacturing P 104


OUR RECOMMENDATION opportunities. It will also support the region’s Pacific engagement strategy. Over the length of the development, the true impact for Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) is expected to be well in excess of $3.3 billion. The CAEP is already home to a thriving aviation services industry with Hawker Pacific being a prominent example of an MRO operator in growth mode. In 2017 the Queensland Government announced a $2.5 million investment for Hawker Pacific to expand their hangar, which resulted in an additional 39 high value jobs worth an estimated $3.9 million. In 2019 Hawker Pacific confirmed winning $4 million worth of new contracts for 2020. This demonstrates success from a state investment in the industry. Cairns is perfectly positioned at the centre of the APAC region with equal flying distance to Bangkok, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Fiji and Hawaii are a manageable flight time away and the closest capital city, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, is less than half the distance to Sydney. In addition Queensland has a state government with a strong focus on growing the aviation sector through the MRO Taskforce and Aerospace 10-Year Roadmap.

Cairns Airport is home to the CQUniversity Asia Pacific Aviation Hub and Cairns Aviation Skills Centre (CASC). Since 2003 CASC has graduated 650 aircraft technicians and upskilled over 7000 aviation professionals, all with the industry reputation for excellence that comes from being trained in Cairns. Cairns should be a major destination for aviation services in the APAC region because it can meet the needs of industry geographically and geopolitically, and has a strong reputation for aviation excellence with a pipeline of highly skilled people.

•

That in 2022-2023 the Queensland Government invest $20 million in the Cairns Aviation Excellence Precinct redevelopment, delivering 1200 high value jobs and positioning the region as a significant Maintenance Overhaul and Repair centre for the APAC region.

NEXT STEPS An investment of $52 million is required to deliver on the Cairns Aviation Excellence Precinct masterplan. To ensure the project is viable, a partial investment of $20 million is sought from the Queensland Government with Cairns Airport to invest the remaining $32 million.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $52 million

2022-2023

State Investment

$20m

Cairns Airport Investment

$32m

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 105


INTERNATIONAL AVIATION ROUTES ARE VITAL TO THE TNQ ECONOMY PHOTO CREDIT: CAIRNS AIRPORT

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 106


TRANSPORT AND ROADS


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Transport and Roads

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Transport and Roads: Michael Delaney

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Michael Delaney, Partner Tax & Advisory BDO & Deputy Chair Advance Cairns Barbara Ford, Managing Director Airfreight Handling Services Cr Jack Bawden, Mayor Carpentaria Shire Council & Chair North West Queensland Regional Roads Group Cr Warren Devlin, Mayor Etheridge Shire Council Nick Masasso, Executive Project Officer Cairns Regional Council Luis Perez, Chief Commercial Officer Aviation North Queensland Airports

Attached are bios on each delegate. DELEGATE ISSUES

Transport and Roads issues to discuss: • • •

Cairns Ring Road National Highway A1 Gulf Savannah Way

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 108


TRANSPORT

AND

ROADS

Delegate Bios

MICHAEL DELANEY

PARTNER, TAX & ADVISORY BDO & DEPUTY CHAIR ADVANCE CAIRNS Michael is a Tax & Advisory Partner with BDO (Nth Qld). As an active enthusiast within the Cairns community, his passion extends throughout his client base. Michael has developed a specialisation in forensic accounting and due diligence, being called as an expert witness in cases in the Magistrates, District, Supreme and Family Courts. He has undertaken numerous assignments in due diligence, business valuation and insurance claims. Michael is also an experienced adviser to small business and, in particular, family business. Michael commenced in public practice in 1987 and has worked in the audit and business services areas since. He has been a Partner of BDO and attendant firms for over 30 years.

BARBARA FORD

MANAGING DIRECTOR AIRFREIGHT HANDLING SERVICES Barbara is the owner of Air Freight Handling Services (AFHS), a company based in North Queensland for 14 years. Employed at State and National Manager level with an express courier and airport freight operator for the 1990’s , Barbara started her own business and moved back to North Queensland in mid-2005. AFHS operates at the Cairns and Townsville Airport’s , handling Qantas and Jetstar domestic and all international airline import and export cargo in both airports. AFHS also has a courier division including high priority medical and other urgent goods, together with a Dangerous Goods division for packing and paperwork completion and authorisation. Currently employing 40 full time team members the business is looking to expand, further enhancing capabilities for additional freight export. AFHS recently received funding from the State Government to build a Trade Distribution Centre based at Cairns Airport. Opening in late 2021, this will assist industry to provide solutions for freight distribution and opportunity for export cargo for existing and any potential new airlines entering the Cairns market.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 109


TRANSPORT

AND

ROADS

Delegate Bios

CR JACK BAWDEN

MAYOR CARPENTARIA SHIRE COUNCIL & CHAIR NORTH WEST QUEENSLAND REGIONAL ROADS GROUP Jack Bawden is the Mayor of Carpentaria Shire Council. He is also Chair of the North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils and a member of the North West Queensland Regional Roads Group. In his day job Jack runs a mechanical work shop in Normanton in the Carpentaria Shire. He is very familiar with the opportunities, possibilities and challenges of the region having lived in North West Queensland all of his life. Born and bred in Boulia (Maryvale Station) and educated in Boulia, Mount Isa and Charters Towers he has lived and worked in Mount Isa, Richmond, Karumba and Normanton and worked in most areas of the North West Region. This practical exposure to the challenges faced by the communities gives him a perspective that could not be acquired by academic qualifications. He actively promotes the needs of the region at every forum and level of Government and believes that a common sense approach to development of the right infrastructure at the right time is needed to increase the sustainability and viability of key industries such as tourism, agriculture, transport and mining.

CR WARREN DEVLIN

MAYOR ETHERIDGE SHIRE COUNCIL Warren Devlin was born in Camden NSW, grew up in Nimbin then moved north to Georgetown in his late teens. He and his Father pegged several mining leases in the Etheridge Shire and commenced Gold Mining as a family operation giving Warren approx 30 years’ experience in the mining industry and a firm understanding of operating and managing a business. This business acumen has proved to be invaluable throughout Warren’s life. In 2003 Warren completed building the Georgetown Roadhouse / Supermarket and has continued to grow his business portfolio in recent years diversifying into the industrial and grazing industries. Warren was elected as Mayor of the Etheridge Shire in 2008. He immediately set about putting together the Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme and put in a submission to the federal govt to build a bridge across the Einasleigh river, addressing the issues of flooding and road closures during our wet seasons. This has been an economic stimulus to the whole of the gulf region. Warren is currently serving a second term as Mayor of Etheridge Shire, having been re-elected in 2016. He is continuing to drive economic development into the Gulf region with a number of projects.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 110


TRANSPORT

AND

ROADS

Delegate Bios

NICK MASASSO

EXECUTIVE PROJECT OFFICER CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL Nick is Cairns Regional Council’s Executive Project Officer and a member of Council’s Executive Management Team. Nick oversees Council’s Economic Development Department and inbound (from State and Federal Governments) grant funding streams. He also works directly with the Mayor’s and CEO’s office on advocacy initiatives relevant to Council’s operations. He has previously held senior management positions with KPMG, Grant Thornton, First Great Western Trains (UK) and GE Capital. Nick has broad finance, management and economic development experience across a range of industry sectors in Australia and the UK. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Nick also holds an Associate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. Nick is a past Treasurer of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and a casual lecturer with James Cook University. He is a third generation North Queenslander having grown up on a family farm located on the Atherton Tablelands.

LUIS PEREZ

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER AVIATION NORTH QUEENSLAND AIRPORTS Luis Perez, Chief Commercial Officer – Aviation, is responsible for growing airline services and passenger numbers to Cairns and Mackay Airports by working with airlines and the travel/tourism industry. An international aviation executive, Luis has over 20 years’ experience in airline, strategy and commercial management roles, and has a deep understanding of travel, trade, tourism and route development. Luis has had an extensive career that has included roles leading air service development at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Houston Airport Quito, Ecuador and Vancouver. Most recently, Luis had spent over a year and a half living in China prior to starting at North Queensland Airports as an Aviation Consultant in Liaocheng University.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 111


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

CAIRNS RING ROAD BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • It is anticipated that the National Highway A1 will be extended from Cairns to Smithfield, providing much better links between the CBD and the Cairns sea port, Cairns airport, the northern beaches and southern access route. • As Stage 1 of the Cairns Ring Road, Federal investment of $287.2 million has been committed, which has been matched by State investment of $71.8 million. • The Western Arterial section of Cairns Ring Road intersects with the northern point of National Highway A1 and urgently requires State funding of $365.5 million for essential upgrades as Stage 2 of the Cairns Ring Road. • When the Captain Cook Highway is flooded, the Western Arterial Road is the only flood free access route between Cairns, the northern beaches and Kennedy Highway.

THE ISSUE

BACKGROUND

Access to the Cairns airport and seaport from the north, south and west is adversely impacted by a highly inefficient road network, with all directions constrained by the need to travel directly through the Cairns CBD.

The Bruce Highway is part of the National Highway A1, providing the vital link between Cairns, other Queensland coastal cities and Brisbane. The National Highway A1 currently terminates in the Cairns CBD at the corners of Comport and Draper Streets, but the Federal Government is expected to deliver on its promise to extend the Highway to the intersection of Captain Cook and Kennedy Highways and Mount Milman Drive, Smithfield, north of Cairns, leading to a major upgrade of the Captain Cook Highway.

There is significant traffic congestion on the Captain Cook Highway and along the Cairns Western Arterial Road, both of which lead from the northern beaches into the city, and this makes the transport of freight to, from and between the key port locations difficult. While there is significant potential to expand export activities for the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) region, particularly to Asian markets, connectivity between ports is a critical enabling factor in the future development of Cairns as an export and service hub. The need to upgrade Captain Cook Highway to enhance connectivity was acknowledged by the Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, who wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack on 19 September 2018 to request an extension of the national highway in Cairns during the 2018-2019 National Land Transport Network (NLTN) Determination Review. The extension will free-up State Government funding that would previously have been required for Captain Cook Highway upgrades. However, the State-owned Western Arterial section of the Cairns Ring Road carries 36,550 vehicles per day and is not included in the 2018 National Land Transport Network extension request. Upgrading this section is essential to connecting Cairns’ freight routes with the region’s premier agriculture producing areas (Atherton Tablelands, Cape York Peninsula and Mossman), while also meeting demand for daily commuter traffic.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

However, the effectiveness and safety of the road transport network in and around Cairns will be adversely impacted until the Stateowned Cairns Western Arterial Road is also upgraded. The Cairns Arterial road network has been underfunded for many years in terms of capacity upgrades, with residential and industrial land development outpacing road project investments. In January 2019, Cairns Regional Council identified a number of underfunded State-owned roads and listed them as priority infrastructure projects for the region. The Cairns Western Arterial Road is a significant component of this list as the road is heavily congested on a daily basis and when the Captain Cook Highway is flooded during wet season or natural disaster, is the only flood free access route between Cairns, the northern beaches and Kennedy Highway.

NEXT STEPS Investment in key roads infrastructure is critical to ensuring sustained economic growth for the region, which will lead to greater diversity in incomes and job security.

P 112


The required infrastructure upgrades can be achieved through: • Creating Stage 2 of the Cairns Ring Road by upgrading the Bruce Highway and linking the northern-most part of the National Highway to the Cairns Port and Airport; • Upgrading three major intersections along the Western Arterial Road through a combination of overpass, traffic signal and slip lane projects; • Duplicating the full length of the road to increase traffic lanes from 1 to 2 in each direction; • Duplicating the Barron River Bridge at Kamerunga and the Redlynch overpass; and

Constructing the McCoombe Street connection road between Ray Jones Drive and Mulgrave Road.

It is estimated that a $365.5 million investment is required to cover the cost of the Western Arterial Road upgrades. A combined State and Federal investment of $359 million has already been indicated in the Queensland Transport and Investment Road and Rail Program for Cairns Ring Road Stage 1. However, the funds have not been committed in the Capital Budget Statements and remain indicative only. While an initial investment of $12.5 million has been committed by the State over 3 years for detailed planning for the Cairns Western Arterial Road, the remaining $353 million is yet to be confirmed.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That the Queensland Government include capital funding of $437.3 million for the Cairns Ring Road and Cairns Western Arterial Road projects in the 2020 State Budget, to be invested over four years to 2023-2024.

That the Queensland Government fast-track detailed planning of the Cairns Western Arterial Road to ensure plan completion by December 2020.

That the Federal Government commit to commencement of capital funding of $287.2 million for Cairns Ring Road in the 2020 Budget, to be invested over three years to 2023-2024.

That the Commonwealth Government confirm in the forthcoming amendment of the National Land Transport Act 2014 its promised extension of the Highway A1 to the junction of the Kennedy and Captain Cook Highways at Smithfield.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT 2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2023-2024

State Investment

$60m

$120m

$180m

$77.3m

Federal Investment

$50m

$100m

$137.2m

-

Estimated total project cost $749m

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 113


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS, MAREEBA, CASSOWARY COAST, HINCHINBROOK, TOWNSVILLE STATE ELECTORATE: BARRON RIVER, CAIRNS, MULGRAVE, HILL, HINCHINBROOK, TOWNSVILLE FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, HERBERT, KENNEDY

NATIONAL HIGHWAY A1 BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • TNQ’s road transport

system is under pressure due to population growth, particularly on the road network in and out of Cairns which is the main distribution hub for the region.

• The Bruce Highway is one of Australia’s highest-risk roads and in the 5 years to 2017, there were 328 casualty crashes and 22 fatalities on the stretch between Cairns and Townville. • The Kuranda Range Road has already exceeded its capacity of 9,500 vehicle movements per day, catering for up to 10,000 daily traffic movements. • While the Bruce Highway has seen unprecedented State and Federal investment since 2013, many future TNQ projects are scheduled for commencement after 2023. It is essential these be brought forward to 20192023 to address critical congestion and safety issues. • A strategic transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville is required, together with a significant upgrade of Kuranda Range Road.

THE ISSUE An integrated and efficient road transport network is critical for economic stability and growth in northern Australia. In Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), the road network underpins the economy and is vital to the resident population of 278,080, ensuring accessibility to health, education and community services. Due to rapid population growth, TNQ’s road transport system faces increasing pressure, particularly on the road network in and out of Cairns which acts as the main distribution hub for the region. Meeting the growing demand for freight has strained existing infrastructure, impacting transport costs and service levels across the supply chain. The strain has been exacerbated by uneven population dispersion, the shared passenger transport task on TNQ roads, and resilience gaps in the road network which is frequently impacted by weather events. Via road, the city of Cairns is serviced by four main arterial roads, two of which are critical freight routes – the Bruce Highway and the Kennedy Highway. The Bruce Highway is part of the National Highway A1, providing the vital link between Cairns and Townsville, other Queensland coastal cities and Brisbane. The highway supports the transport of freight into and out of the region and currently ends in Cairns at the sea port.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

The Kuranda Range Road (Kennedy Highway, Cairns/Mareeba section) links Smithfield with Kuranda and is the coastal gateway to Mareeba, Atherton Tablelands, Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Savannah. It is a critical link for commuter, commercial and visitor traffic in TNQ and a vital strategic corridor linking the Atherton Tableland, North Tropical Coast and Cape York to the Cairns Airport. Both the Bruce Highway and Kuranda Range Roads underpin the commercial viability of primary industries, producers and exporters in the region. However, both are operating at or near capacity with safety and traffic efficiency now at critical levels for action. While unprecedented State and Federal funding has been allocated for Bruce Highway upgrades between Cairns and Townsville, to maintain and grow TNQ’s competitiveness through improved productivity a number of catalytic projects are still needed. These include a strategic transport plan to deliver a transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville, together with a significant upgrade of Kuranda Range Road. This need is supported by the 2009-2031 Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan, which recommends that the Department of Main Roads plan for and preserve transport corridors to construct bypass roads around Innisfail, Ingham, Cardwell and Tully, and plan for and construct the duplication of Kuranda Range Road. P 114


BACKGROUND Over the past decade, the Bruce Highway has consistently been rated one of Australia’s highestrisk roads. In 2016 the highway accounted for 48% of Queensland casualty crashes and more than half of the State’s fatalities. Nationally, this equates to more than 17% of fatalities on only 7.5% of the entire national network. On the 299 km section between Cairns and Townsville, which carries an estimated 17,250 vehicles per day, in the 5 years to 2017 there were 328 casualty crashes and 22 fatalities. To address the significant safety issues, in 2013 the Federal Government introduced the $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, which has led to step-change investments in north Queensland sections of the highway. Together with the State Government, to date this has delivered: $595 million for Stages 1 to 4 of Cairns Southern Access upgrades with another $226 million committed for Stage 5; $20 million committed for Innisfail bypass planning and to improve flood immunity between Cardwell and Ingham; $48 million committed to plan for upgrades to the Cardwell Range; and another $63 million committed for Townsville Northern Access upgrades. In contrast to the Bruce Highway, the Kuranda Range Road has been the subject of multiple impact assessment and design studies dating back to 2000 but is yet to see significant investment. The road has already exceeded its capacity of 9,500 vehicle movements per day, catering for up to 10,000 daily traffic movements. And in the 10 years to August 2018, the Cairns to Mareeba section of Kennedy Highway experienced 493 unplanned closures with total closure time of 1,111 hours and an average close time per incident of 2 hours and 15 minutes. While the need to upgrade the road was identified in the 2009-2031 Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan, more than 10 years on this remains a critical infrastructure project but is yet to secure significant funding.

NEXT STEPS A number of significant investments have been announced that will continue to address safety and efficiency challenges on the TNQ road network. However, many of these projects are scheduled for commencement after 2023. To address the critical congestion and safety issues faced on the road transport network, it is essential that the following key projects be brought forward and commenced in 2019-2023: 1.

KURANDA RANGE ROAD: Undertake Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements ($1 million) and Preliminary Evaluation and Business Case ($20 million) with a view to completion by 2021.

2.

KURANDA RANGE ROAD: Commence development of the Cairns to Northern Tablelands access strategy ($1.25 million) with a view to completion by 2021.

3.

BRUCE HIGHWAY, INNISFAIL BYPASS: Continue to preserve the existing bypass corridor and commence transport project planning ($9 million) with a view to completion by 2022.

4.

BRUCE HIGHWAY, INGHAM TO CARDWELL RANGE DEVIATION: Continue to preserve the existing transport corridor and commence transport project planning ($48 million) with a view to completion by 2023.

5.

BRUCE HIGHWAY, TOWNSVILLE NORTHERN ACCESS INTERSECTIONS UPGRADE: Commence transport project planning ($72 million) with a view to completion by 2023.

6.

BRUCE HIGHWAY, CAIRNS TO TOWNSVILLE: Undertake Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements and Preliminary Evaluation and Business Case with a view to completion by 2024.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That through the Roads of Strategic Importance Fund, in 2020-2022 the Queensland and Federal Governments commit $21 million (shared 50:50) to undertake the Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements, preliminary evaluation and Business Case for Kuranda Range Road.

That through the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, the State and Federal Governments bring forward their commitments to upgrade north Queensland sections of the National Highway A1 to 2019-2023, and commit to developing a strategic transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT 2020-2021

Estimated project cost $21m

Kuranda Range Road SASR

Kuranda Range Road Business Case

State Investment

$0.5m

$10m

Federal Investment

$0.5m

$10m

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 115


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: BURKE, CARPENTARIA. DOOMADGEE STATE ELECTORATE: TRAEGER FEDERAL ELECTORATES: KENNEDY

GULF SAVANNAH WAY BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The Gulf Savannah Way

stretches for 3,700 km and is considered to be one of the top 10 Great Australian Drives, linking Cairns in Tropical North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley.

• Drive tourism delivers $69.8 million into the Gulf region annually, with 38% of visitors entering the Savannah Way via Cairns. • Large segments of the Queensland section of the Savannah Way are unsealed and flood prone, isolating communities during the wet season and limiting the economic value of this northern road link. • Sealing the Queensland section of the Gulf Savannah Way is estimated to require a total investment of $186 million, split 80:20 between the State and Federal Governments. • Federal investment of $50 million was allocated in 2019 through the Roads of Strategic Importance – next priorities initiative. To ensure this funding is matched 80:20 by the State, sections of the Savannah Way require formal declaration as a State-controlled road.

THE ISSUE

BACKGROUND

The Gulf Savannah Way traverses Northern Australia, linking Cairns in Tropical North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley. The route is approximately 3,700 km long, crossing 15 National Parks, five World Heritage areas and a variety of natural routes across the Top End.

Normanton to Burketown is approximately 221km with about 50% unsealed. This section requires pavement augmentation and bitumen sealing to 7.5m wide, some minor realignment, concrete causeways and a major culvert crossing at the Leichhardt River.

Considered to be in the top 10 greatest road trips of Australia, the self-drive tourism market delivers $69.8 million annually into the Gulf region, with 38% of visitors starting the journey in Cairns. The North West Queensland section of the Gulf Savannah Way takes in 313km with almost 60% of the road already sealed, however there are critical missing links that require pavement upgrades, bitumen seal, minor realignment of substandard curves, concrete causeways and four major river crossings. As large sections of the Savannah Way remain unsealed and flood prone, communities become isolated during the annual wet season which limits the economic value of this northern road link. Upgrading the Queensland segment of the Gulf Savannah Way will require replacing existing substandard infrastructure with a 7.5m wide bitumen sealed pavement, with concrete causeways through creek crossings and raised floodways (using 1.2m high culverts) through major river crossings.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Burketown to Doomadgee is approximately 88km long and fully sealed but has two major river crossings at the Gregory River and Nicholson River which require some minor pavement, alignment and causeway improvements. Doomadgee to NT Border is approximately 104km long with only 30% sealed. This section requires pavement augmentation and bitumen sealing to 7.5m wide, minor realignment and concrete causeways plus a major river crossing at Branch Creek. In recognising the need to seal the Gulf Savannah Way, in 2019 the Federal Government committed $50 million to road upgrades through the Roads of Strategic Importance – next priorities initiative. However, large sections of the Savannah Way have a Regional road designation, meaning formal declaration as State-controlled road is required to ensure this funding is matched by the Queensland Government under the 80:20 Commonwealth State Roads funding model.

P 116


OUR RECOMMENDATION

NEXT STEPS Sealing the remaining Queensland sections of the Gulf Savannah Way is estimated to require a total investment of $186 million. Completing the project over a 10-year period with funds made available to local councils each year will allow the retention of a local workforce. The estimated investment breakdown is as follows: •

oomadgee to NT Border - $56 million to D be provided in equal instalments over the 10-year project period.

T he project will extend across North West Queensland, travelling along the Gulf of Carpentaria from Normanton to the Northern Territory boarder, passing through Burketown, Doomadgee and Hell’s Gate in Queensland and connecting to Wollogorang in the Northern Territory.

ormanton to Burketown - $100 million N to be constructed progressively over 10 consecutive years. urketown to Doomadgee - $30 million B funded over 4 consecutive financial years (equally in years 1-4).

That the Queensland and Federal Governments support the sealing and improved flood resilience of the western Queensland section of the National Highway by providing 80:20 project funding in accordance with the Commonwealth State Roads funding model.

That during 20192020 the Queensland Government work with local Councils to amend the Queensland Transport Infrastructure Act (1994) to declare all Queensland sections of the Gulf Savannah Way as Statecontrolled road.

That allocation of funds be distributed to the controlling Local Government Authorities in equal portions over a 10-year period from 20192020.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $136m

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2023-2024*

$3.7m

$3.7m

$3.7m

$3.7m

$14.88m

$14.88m

$14.88m

$14.88m

State Investment Federal Investment *with forwards ongoing until 2028

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 117


WATER SECURITY


MINISTERIAL

BRIEFING

NOTE

Water Security

ORGANISATION

Cairns TNQ Convoy to CapitalQ Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce are leading the region’s largest ever business delegation to Brisbane. The delegation includes more than 50 business leaders over a two-day period (February 18-19), representing 12 key business sectors to meet with State MPs and attend the Speaker’s Cocktail Reception. Further information: Nick Trompf, Executive Chairman Advance Cairns E: nicktrompf@advancecairns.com | M: 0412 786 719

DELEGATION CONTACT

Water Security: Allan Dale

DELEGATES ATTENDING

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Dr Allan Dale, Professor of Tropical Regional Development James Cook University Mike Barry, Chief Executive Officer MSF Sugar Cr Warren Devlin, Mayor Etheridge Shire Council Mark Vis, General Manager Infrastructure Services Tablelands Regional Council David Kempton, Chair Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland & Torres Strait and Lawyer Preston Law

Attached are bios on each delegate. DELEGATE ISSUES

Water Security issues to discuss: •

Dams and Water Security

Attached are briefing papers on each issue.

WEBSITE LINKS

• •

www.advancecairns.com https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceCairns/

ATTACHMENTS

• •

Attendee biographies Briefing papers

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 119


WATER

SECURITY

Delegate Bios

DR ALLAN DALE

PROFESSOR OF TROPICAL REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY Allan is a Professor of Tropical Regional Development at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University. He has a strong interest in integrated governance, with a particular focus across the tropical world, northern Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. He has both extensive research and policy expertise in building strong governance systems, but particularly in regional, rural and social development and natural resource management. Allan was previously the Chair of RDA FNQ&TS, CEO of Terrain NRM and before that was responsible for natural resource policy in Queensland. He is also now the Chief Scientist for the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia. Allan has a long research background in analysing complex and multi-level governance system and is an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow with Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute.

MIKE BARRY CEO MSF SUGAR

Mike was appointed to the position of CEO in February 2008. Before he joined MSF Sugar, Mike was previously managing director of the private equity-owned Hudson Building Supplies, one of Australia’s largest building supply companies. For the ten years prior to holding that position, Mr Barry held a number of senior management roles within Boral Limited, the most recent being Regional General Manager for Boral’s Construction Materials business in Western Australia and South Australia, where he had responsibility for the company’s concrete, quarries, transport, pre-cast concrete, asphalt and mining activities in those regions.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 120


WATER

SECURITY

Delegate Bios

CR WARREN DEVLIN

MAYOR ETHERIDGE SHIRE COUNCIL

Warren Devlin was born in Camden NSW, grew up in Nimbin then moved north to Georgetown in his late teens. He and his Father pegged several mining leases in the Etheridge Shire and commenced Gold Mining as a family operation giving Warren approx 30 years’ experience in the mining industry and a firm understanding of operating and managing a business. This business acumen has proved to be invaluable throughout Warren’s life. In 2003 Warren completed building the Georgetown Roadhouse / Supermarket and has continued to grow his business portfolio in recent years diversifying into the industrial and grazing industries. Warren was elected as Mayor of the Etheridge Shire in 2008. He immediately set about putting together the Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme and put in a submission to the federal govt to build a bridge across the Einasleigh river, addressing the issues of flooding and road closures during our wet seasons. This has been an economic stimulus to the whole of the gulf region. Warren is currently serving a second term as Mayor of Etheridge Shire, having been re-elected in 2016. He is continuing to drive economic development into the Gulf region with a number of projects.

MARK VIS

GENERAL MANAGER INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES TABLELANDS REGIONAL COUNCIL Mark Vis was born and raised in the Netherlands. He has a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management. Mark commenced his career with Public Works Rotterdam working in civil design, construction and project management for 14 years. Mark migrated to Australia in 2006 and since then, has worked in operations and management roles at Townsville Water, Townsville City Council and now Tablelands Regional Council. Mark has extensive experience in the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of public infrastructure, including bulk water infrastructure. He lives in Malanda where he is starting a small hobby farm with his wife, son and daughter.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 121


WATER

SECURITY

Delegate Bios

DAVID KEMPTON

CHAIR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AUSTRALIA FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND & TORRES STRAIT David Kempton has worked and lived in far north Queensland for over 30 years. In 1988 David established the first law practice in Cooktown since 1935. After over a decade of legal practice in Cooktown and Cape York, David relocated his family to Cairns to provide his girls with a broader education. David was a key negotiator on behalf of pastoralists in the Wik native title claim which saw the pastoralists rights enshrined in a binding agreement. He has been a specialist consultant with Preston Law since 2007 providing advice to farmers across Queensland on a arrange of matters including tenure, native title, vegetation management, water rights, EPBC Act and planning appeals. From 2012 to 2015, David took a break from law as the elected Member for Cook and appointed Assistant Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. For the past 12 months, David has chaired RDA FNQ&TS. In this role he has selected a dynamic board and surrounds himself with dedicated staff with a view to developing the necessary infrastructure and promoting a strong regional economy to underpin business and growth. He is keen to ensure all projects consider not only the economic impacts and benefits but take into account the environment, cultural and social aspects.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 122


ENABLING

INFRASTRUCTURE

COUNCIL: CAIRNS, MAREEBA, ETHERIDGE, COOK, TABLELANDS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS, BARRON RIVER, HILL, TRAEGER FEDERAL ELECTORATES: LEICHHARDT, KENNEDY

DAMS AND WATER SECURITY BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The ability to supply

increased demand for fresh Australian food from North Queensland is at risk due to a lack of long term water implementation strategy

• To cater for growing demand fresh foods, five significant water supply and infrastructure projects are considered essential enablers for the region: Nullinga Dam, North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme, Lakeland Irrigation Area Project, Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme and Tablelands Irrigation Project. • All five projects require bilateral commitment and shared investment (split 50:50) to facilitate environmental approvals and progress to construction stage. • In 2020-2021, a $7 million investment is required to progress the North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme business case. • Nullinga Dam is the most advanced project and requires bilateral investment of $854 million to unlock additional agricultural production worth more than $200 million per annum while supporting the growing urban water needs of the region.

THE ISSUE Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has seen sustained population growth during the past 30 years underpinned by expansion of industries including agriculture, tourism, fisheries, education, health and retail. At the forefront of agricultural growth has been the Atherton Tablelands, driven by the Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme (MDWSS) with rapid expansion in high value crops such as avocados, bananas, berries and sugarcane. Water is now 100% allocated and 80% used, with purchase prices rising more than threefold since 2011, peaking at $4000ML. To address high prices and supply issues on the Tablelands, a short term and long term implement strategy needs to be agreed and acted upon. The short term strategy requires efficiency improvement in the current MDWSS and the construction of the North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme. These projects need to be fast-tracked to construction. During 2019 the proposed long –term solution for the region, Nullinga Dam was shelved as not meeting the current economic criteria. We believed that the detailed business case did not include all the relevant information. This needs to be re-assessed as it is the only long term solution for the region to meet the projected long term growth for water in the region. In addition, agriculture in areas such as the District of Lakeland and Etheridge Shire have potential to expand rapidly with high value crops such as bananas, grains, cotton and watermelons proving feasible. Water security has been a concern for a number of years and is now limiting supply in both regions.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

Agricultural exports are vital to Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) with the industry sector output currently valued at $2.8 billion, constrained mainly by factors such as irrigation and access to market. Recent trade deals secured with China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia present new market access opportunities, with Cairns International Airport providing direct air access to these markets from northern Australia where agricultural exports underpin sustainable tourism flights. Urban demand also continues to increase with Cairns’ population growth averaging 1.4% per annum. Combined with an estimated three million tourists visiting TNQ annually, to ensure the growing needs of the region can be met an effective and multi-faceted water supply strategy is required. Five significant water supply and infrastructure projects are considered essential enablers for the region: •

Nullinga Dam

North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme

Lakeland Irrigation Area Project

Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme

Tablelands Irrigation Project

BACKGROUND On the back of record drought periods in Australia, water security and food security have become priority national policy issues, leading to controversial decisions around water allocations and infrastructure. In recognition of this, in 2019 the Federal Government expanded the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund by $500 million to more than $1 billion, adding to the existing $2 billion for the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility program. P 123


GILBERT RIVER IRRIGATION SCHEME: Etheridge Shire Council proposes to manage water from the Gilbert Catchment general reserve and facilitate construction of an irrigation scheme along the Gilbert River, distributing water to an estimated 30,000ha of irrigable land.

In strengthening the role of northern Australia as a food bowl, substantial feasibility work has progressed in the past three years to explore new agricultural development opportunities. With many of these studies now coming to a close, there are clear priorities for progressing environmental impact and construction activities and a coordinated approach to development is required.

A detailed business case funded by the State Government’s Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program is currently under way and due for completion in March 2020. Preliminary modelling suggests the scheme is economically feasible, and that the area is suited to a range of irrigated crops including grains, pulses and cotton.

NULLINGA DAM AND NORTH JOHNSTONE RIVER DIVERSION SCHEME: The Queensland Government, through Building Queensland, has released a detailed business case showing costs for a 74,000ML stand-alone dam at $1.068 billion. The project will require shared State and Federal investment of $854 million on top of industry contributions of $213 million (based on $2900ML price). A Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries study showed agricultural output on the Tablelands grew 30% in four years to $552 million. Nullinga Dam would unlock additional agricultural production worth around $200 million per annum. The Queensland ALP Government has announced it would ‘protect’ the proposed dam site but would investigate alternative water supply solutions such as the North Johnstone River diversion scheme in preference to Nullinga Dam. The diversion scheme is considered a viable short-term option to stimulate the economy, delivering up to 50,000 ML with a lower capital cost, and a $7 million investment for a full business case is sought to progress this project. However, longer-term Nullinga Dam will also be required to service the growing agricultural and urban water supply needs of the region.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

TABLELANDS IRRIGATION PROJECT: The prefeasibility of the Southern Atherton Tablelands Irrigation Project has been completed and indicates a detailed business case would cost $2.2 million, with an additional $5 million required for an environmental impact study.

That in 2019-2020 the Queensland Government invest $7 million through SunWater to progress the full business case for the North Johnstone River diversion scheme.

The Tableland Regional Council is seeking an investment of $7.2 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to progress this project. The proposed Woodleigh Dam includes a 35,000ML capacity and 98.5% water reliability, and the project would facilitate a land use transition from predominantly beef cattle to higher value crops. The dam will also provide hydro power benefits, irrigating 4,200 hectares.

That the State and Federal Governments commit to invest $854 million as a 50:50 contribution to the construction of Nullinga Dam with $10 million of Federal funds going towards an environmental impact statement in 20192020.

That, subject to completion of the business cases, the Queensland Government works with the Federal Government to facilitate and coordinate the development approval processes for the Lakeland Irrigation Area Project and the Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme.

That in 2021-2022 the Federal Government invest $7.2 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to progress the Tablelands Irrigation Project.

NEXT STEPS Development of the five proposed water infrastructure projects would meet a range of State and National Policy objectives: • Expand northern Australia’s agricultural productive capacity – this is nationally significant given the impact of drought on food and water security in southern Australia; • Increase northern Australia’s contribution to GDP through an increase in agricultural production; • Diversify northern Australia’s economic capabilities to facilitate investment and reduce reliance on tourism; and • Strengthen Australia’s international competitiveness through proximity to Asia.

LAKELAND IRRIGATION AREA PROJECT: Regional Development Australia FNQ&TS, through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF), funded a strategic business case that investigates new water storage options to expand the Lakeland irrigation area. When constructed, the proposed dam will store 200,000ML and irrigate 8,000ha of arable land. The Federal Government has committed an additional $10 million to further develop the business case. The project will require bilateral Government support to facilitate and coordinate the development approval processes for the dam.

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT Estimated project cost $868.2m

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2021-2022

2027-2031

Business Case (North Johnstone)

Environmental Approvals (Nullinga)

Planning and Design (Nullinga)*

Business Case (Tablelands)

Procurement and Construction (Nullinga)*

$7m

-

$50m

-

$377m*

-

$10m

$50m

$7.2m

$367m*

State Investment Federal Investment *staged funds to flow for Nullinga Dam from 2020-2031

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 124


ADVANCE

CAIRNS

CONTACTS

Delegate Bios

NICK TROMPF

EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

Since moving from Victoria to Tropical North Queensland in 2001, Nick has played an active role as a senior business leader as well as in the wider community. Having joined Advance Cairns in 2018, after two years as CEO he accepted the role of Executive Chairman, a combined role of both Chief Executive and Chairman. He previously served six years on the Advance Cairns Board (20092012 and 2013-2016). Prior to Advance Cairns he had a 34-year career in media, initially as a journalist and editor and then moving into commercial management. He was General Manager of Cairns’ oldest business, the Cairns Post Pty Ltd, for 11 years before promotion into more senior roles at News Corp Australia – ultimately heading all of its regional divisions from Hobart to Darwin (while still based in Cairns). Nick has been a passionate advocate for the region serving on a variety of voluntary boards including Advance Cairns (two terms), the Far North Queensland Amateur Turf Club, AFL Cairns, the Salvation Army Red Shield Business Appeal and Events Cairns. He and his family also run a stud beef cattle business on the Atherton Tablelands.

WENDY HUGHES GENERAL MANAGER

Wendy is a marketing and economic development professional with 19 years’ experience. She joined Advance Cairns as Policy and Economic Development Manager in 2018 and after 18 months in the role, accepted the position of General Manager. Prior to Advance Cairns, Wendy was the Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager for MSF Sugar, an agribusiness company owned by the Mitr Phol Group. In addition to working in agribusiness she has had an extensive career in marketing and strategy, including 3 years lecturing at the JCU School of Business which drew on her experience gained in the media, engineering, not-for-profit and consultancy sectors. A strong advocate for regional development, from 2011-2015 she was a member of the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) QLD State Council and from 2012-2015 she was an Advisor to the Strategic Communications and Marketing Sub-Committee for Regional Development Australia FNQ & TS.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 125


ADVANCE

CAIRNS

CONTACTS

Delegate Bios

TAYLOR MOY

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Having relocated to Cairns from the Gold Coast in early 2019, Taylor initially joined Advance Cairns in a temporary role, providing EA support to the CEO on an ‘as needed’ basis. Soon after commencing in the role, her attention to detail and positive attitude led to her being awarded the position full-time and she is now a permanent member of the team. Prior to joining Advance Cairns, Taylor spent four years working in law firms (which included 2 years working in Canberra) and she is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice through Griffith University. She is a keen learner and thoroughly enjoys expanding her education and knowledge in various areas. Although relatively new to Cairns, Taylor has quickly become passionate about Tropical North Queensland and takes immense pride in being part of a team that actively contributes to the development and progress of the region.

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 126


FAST

FACTS A

s Australia’s most global regional city, Cairns is a prosperous, growing and investment-ready regional centre located in the heart of Tropical North Queensland. Strategically located between two World Heritage listed sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest – the region is more than simply a world class tourist destination. It is fast becoming known for its tropical expertise in health, agriculture, marine science, engineering, construction and education. The region is well connected to the rest of Australia through direct airline links to eight countries, and has competitive access to significant global markets. With easy access to the Pacific via Cairns International Airport and the Cairns sea port, and with air, road and rail links to all major Australian cities, the region offers unrivalled connectivity to northern Australia.

CAIRNS CITY IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE GROWN BY

CAIRNS CITY POPULATION

REGIONAL POPULATION

165,525 278,080 CAIRNS IS THE FIFTH LARGEST REGIONAL CITY IN QUEENSLAND AND THE NINTH LARGEST IN AUSTRALIA

TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND BOASTS A

IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS

$15.15B

TOURISM & HOSPITALITY

2 MILLION DOMESTIC VISITORS 849,000 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS 130,000+ AIRCRAFT MOVEMENTS ANNUALLY

$3.4B An analysis of jobs held by the TNQ Regional workforce in 2016 shows the five largest sectors were: HEALTH CARE & SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

15,108 (13%) RETAIL TRADE

11,681 (10.1%) ACCOMMODATION & FOOD SERVICES

11,072 (9.5%) EDUCATION & TRAINING

10,164 (8.8%) CONSTRUCTION

8,968 (7.7%) These five industries accounted for 56,993 people, or 49.1% of the total TNQ Regional workforce.

GROSS REGIONAL PRODUCT

ANNUAL EXPENDITURE

OUTPUT BY INDUSTRY SECTOR INDUSTRY Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Mining Manufacturing Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services Construction Wholesale Trade

$M

17/18%

2,773.9

9.6

1,057.8

3.7

2,848.6

9.9

1,205.1

4.2

3,200.0

11.1

797.7

2.8

Retail Trade

1,341.9

4.7

Accommodation and Food Services

1,386.0

4.8

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

2,111.8

7.3

Information Media and Telecommunications

322.0

1.1

Financial and Insurance Services

850.3

3.0

2,748.0

9.6

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

1,331.6

4.6

Administrative and Support Services

1,097.0

3.8

Public Administration and Safety

1,823.9

6.3

Education and Training

1,019.6

3.5

Health Care and Social Assistance

1,727.6

6.0

377.2

1.3

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services

Arts and Recreation Services Other Services Total Industries

753.8

2.6

28,773.6

100.0

Source: Tourism Tropical North Queensland, National Visitor Survey 2018, Cairns Airport, Passenger Statistics 2019, Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, Economic and Community Profiles (.id - the population experts)

2020 STATE ELECTION PRIORITIES FOR TNQ

P 127


ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

ADVANCE CAIRNS OUR REGION ONE VOICE

THE COMMITTEE FOR TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

CONTACT: ADVANCE CAIRNS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN NICK TROMPF E: NICKTROMPF@ADVANCECAIRNS.COM PH: 07 4080 2900

Profile for Advance Cairns

Cairns TNQ Convoy to Capital Q - 2020 State Election Priorities